NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – We are slightly less than two weeks into the New Year. That means you’re either succeeding or failing at your New Year’s resolution.
We’ve been focusing a great deal of attention on those looking to get in shape and exercise. But the start of 2015 should also serve as a reminder of the importance of being financially fit.
More than 40 percent of us will make at least one New Year’s resolution. But only eight percent of us will keep it. Roger Cowen joined Good Morning Connecticut from Cowen Tax Advisory Group in Farmington help you stay on track.
January: Start small
The first step can be the hardest. Take one or two items that you can cut back on to save some cash. You could start bringing your lunch from home, and inviting friends over dinner instead of going out. If you can get rid of excess spending habits for one month, try it again next month. It might turn out to be a savings strategy you could get used to.
February: Create a budget
Every family should have a budget to make sure they stay on track. A great way to start is with a budget worksheet, like the one on Cowen’s website: cowentaxgroup.com. You need to keep track of all your expenses, both the fixed expenses like rent, and the variable expenses that change from month to month like groceries, gas and clothing. Make sure you’re not spending more than you’re taking in each month, and that you have some left over for savings.
March: Put your debt on a diet
The average American household has more than $15,000 dollars in credit card debt. Do the math. If you can stop paying 19% interest on a $15,000 balance each month, you’ll save more than $200 dollars every month! Don’t spend the money on interest, could be invested in yourself and saving for the future.