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Financial Planning Tips for the New Year

Money
Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2016-02-16 06:42:03-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- As 2015 comes to a close, many us start the holiday tradition of making resolutions.

Americans have been making New Year's resolutions since at least the 1770s, and in 2013, about 54 percent of Americans make a New Year's Resolution about their finances.

Wealth advisor Stacy Bush joined us on WTXL Midday to offer some of the best advice to help you cash in come 2016.

Bush says there are some simple steps you can take to help stay on track with your financial resolutions.

Here are Bush's five tips:

1. Make a budget and stick to it

Budgets may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, especially if you're financially comfortable, but it's quite easy to let your spending go off the rails if you're not tracking it in some way. Give us a call if you'd like some tips on making budgeting hassle-free.

2. Pay down debt, especially high-interest credit card debt

High-interest debt can make it very hard to get ahead financially. If you're carrying significant debt, make it a priority to pay down the debt and get out from underneath high interest payments.

3. Involve your spouse and loved ones in your finances

If you (or your spouse) don't get involved in the family finances, it's time to start. Work together to make financial decisions and make sure that each of you understands the overall game plan for your finances. At minimum, make sure that your loved ones know the location of financial accounts and understand your wishes.

4. Set goals for the future and work with a professional to create strategies to help you work toward them

In our experience, people who set goals for themselves and create strategies to pursue them are much more likely to see success. One study found that investors who leveraged specific financial strategies saw greater long-term financial success. Sit down with your loved ones to discuss your financial goals; when you're ready to discuss your thoughts, call our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

5. Keep your resolutions!

One study found that just 8% of New Year's resolutions are actually kept. Improve the chances that you will keep your resolutions by making your goals simple, concrete, and actionable. Instead of saying: "I will save more for the future in 2016," say: "I will contribute $4,500 to my retirement accounts by December 31, 2016" or "I will pay off $2,000 of credit card debt by April 15th."

Bush has practiced independent financial advising in the Valdosta area for 14 years. You can send in any questions to askstacybush@lpl.com