I think everyone would be well served by breaking their lives into major categories and assigning goals for each category. Fortunately, finances are one thing that already often get included in New Years Resolutions.
To kick start the process, I’m going to ask you a lot of questions. If you hesitate, put an * by that question and go back to it. Spend some time thinking about and researching that question.
Choose five questions and work at developing the necessary goals so that you can answer these same questions in a positive way next year.
Get out of debt
- Do you pay off your card balance in full? Is it time to consider cutting them up?
- Is a debt consolidation right for you?
- Do you have get out of debt goals (with exact dates)? Get a debt snowball worksheet free.
- Will you take on any new debt in 2011? I’d advise against it :(.
- Should you keep using credit cards or burn ‘em?
- Do your credit cards cost you money or save you money?
- Do you need to establish family rules on how to use credit cards?
- A Guide For Getting Out Of Credit Card Debt
- Have you checked your score lately? You can check it free at Credit Karma.
- Do you plan to make a purchase that is impacted by credit?
- Do you have a good credit score? Does it matter?
- Could you be trading stocks at a cheaper price? Do you have the best discount online broker?
- It is time for an asset allocation review?
- Are your investments still appropriately aligned with your risk temperaments and length of investment?
- Are you paying too much for a financial advisor?
- Have you set a certain percentage of your budget to invest?
- Do you have a good system in place for recording your auto mileage?
- Do you have a good system in place for tracking all your business related expenses? Check out Outright.
- Would this be a good year to file taxes using a tax software? I use Turbo Tax.
- Have you recently reviewed tax deductions?
- Do you need to change your withholdings?
- Review your bank charges this year. Do you need to change how you use your ATM card? Is it the right time to change banks?
- Do you have a cash back debit card or a credit card with rewards?
- Does your bank give you a competitive interest rate?
- How often did you miss bill payments? Do you need to set up automatic billing?
- Are your kids old enough to start an allowance system?
- Have you and your spouse discussed how to teach your kids about money?
- Have you started saving anything for college?
- Have you researched the advantages of a Roth IRA hybrid approach?
- Should you consider adjusting your deductibles?
- When was the last time you compared the price of your insurance plans? If longer than a year, time to check around.
- Do you have medical insurance, life insurance, and auto insurance?
- Have you reviewed your policy lately to be sure it still fits with your stage in life?
- Do you need to increase your giving?
- Are there any new charities you want to be involved in?
- This year I want to spend more on …
- This year I want to spend less on …
- Do you have a personal finance software to help you budget?
- Have you read The Secret to a Successful Budget?
- Do you have a system in place to help you keep a budget?
The Big Picture
- Do you know what role money plays in your spiritual life?
- Do you know how to curb your spending appetite?
- Have you recently read Bible verses about money?
Marriage and Money
- Are you and your spouse on the same page with money? Do you ask questions about marriage and money?
- When was the last time you shared your life dreams and financial dreams with each other?
- How often do you disagree about money? How could you minimize that amount?
I know this information might seem overwhelming. Just pick five issues you want to address this year and then turn them into goals.
Photo by Anolobb
If you already have some 2011 financial goals, what are your goals? Share them in the comments below.