As we come to the end of the first month of the New Year, this seems to be a good time to assess how you might be doing with your New Year’s resolutions. after all, many of us are guilty of saying we’ll make changes and this can usually be the time that the new treadmill starts becoming a coat rack or those new running shoes are being better served waling through a department store.
But did you set some resolutions to get your financial house in order, or to perhaps do some long-term financial planning that you had been putting off? Have you set a plan in motion yet? Is you life such a mess financially that you really want to do somethng but you don’t know where to start?
CNBC has you covered. Recently, CNBC’s Sharon Epperson hosted a brief segment with three top financial advisors – those who are financial planners, not those who are involved in the investment side – to get their three top money tips for getting better financial health in the New Year. She looked to three members of CNBC’s own Financial Advisors Council – Stacy Francis of Francis Financial, Diahann Lassus of Lassus Wherley and Associates, and Mark Cortazzo of Macro Consulting Group – to provide some quick tips on getting a handle on that pesky financial resolution.
The first peiece of advice was offered by Francis, who said that the key is to be on “autopilot” when it comes to saving for the long term. She recommends making sure that a set amount of your income is set aside every month and taken out of your paycheck and deposited straight into a long-term savings vehicle. She said if that is done, then a person will eventually learn to live without the money because she or she does not see it in everyday budgeting because it was taken out behind the scenes.
Lassus’ suggestion and advice was more broad, and that was to write down the financial goal and keep it somewhere prominent so you can continually look at it and remind yourself of your goal. The idea is that every time you see it, it should keep it in mind and otivte you to take some step that day to get closer to that desired goal – whether it is saving for retirement, paying off debt or getting that mortgage paid.
Cortazzo took a different approach, advising those who are parents and grandparents to consider something different than the latest electronic gadget for a child as a birthday or Christmas gift – why not gift to them a Roth IRA, especially if they are at the age where they are earning their own money?