5 Financial resolutions to keep
Here are some general financial goals that will better your borrowing position for the future and though these may not be in the top 10 lists of most common New Years Resolutions of 2014, they should be on the list of any person who wants to be in a good financial position by the time 2015 rolls around. Even if you pick just one item below and stick with it, you will be well on your way to looking like a perfect 10 on paper in no time!
1. Pay off debt
There’s no such thing as “good” debt, plain and simple. Yes, there are good things you can achieve with debt, like a university education or home ownership, but that doesn’t make the debt any less “bad.” If you make debt reduction your priority this year it will help improve your credit score and enhance your borrowing position. The less debt the borrower has, the less likely they are to default on their payments which, for the lenders, translates into a higher rate of approval and competitive interest rates. .
2. Lose some rate
I’m not just talking about your mortgage rate; I’m talking car insurance, cell phone plans, car payments, home insurance, etc. Start 2014 off by looking at the rates you’re paying per month on some of those common budget busters, then compare them to what’s available to you today. This could involve some calling around or filling out applications, though you could simplify the research process by finding out the eligibility requirements of the rates you’re interested in first and then determine if you meet them.
Before you make any changes, be sure to consult the company you’re currently with to see if they will lower your rates in order to keep your business and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Also ensure you’re aware of any fees involved in breaking your existing contract as those should be factored into your decision whether to switch for a better rate or not. .
3. Manage expectations
Many a resolution has been broken due to unrealistic expectations. Whether they’re yours or those of the people around you, like a spouse or family member, managing expectations is a useful tool for setting realistic and attainable goals. When it comes to your finances, take a frank look at your present financial situation, including credit score, debt level, savings, and net worth. Depending on the goals you have in mind moving forward, determine exactly what you need to do in working towards your target and determine if you can actually implement the necessary changes. This preparation beforehand will ensure you can effectively accomplish your financial goals for the upcoming year.
4. Put together a Power Team
Now that you are ready to begin your journey in attaining a healthy financial profile, let’s talk about bringing on other parties to help manage the steps you need to take in order to meet your goals. By that, I mean avoiding costly mistakes by consulting the proper professionals before making any significant buying, borrowing, financial decisions and/or commitments. Lining up a team of professionals you trust to help you achieve your financial goals may include a financial planner, mortgage broker, realtor, insurance broker, lawyer, or whoever else you see value in speaking with. Don’t be afraid to read the online reviews, talk to your friends, or cold call and see who you “click” with. However you do it, make sure you’re enlisting the assistance of a professional who is experienced in their field, and can offer many options instead of a limited selection.
5. Write it down
Keep a record of your finances, whether you scribble in a notebook or have a detailed spreadsheet, you should have something where you can record your progress and accomplishments.. I have a friend who has a whole binder dedicated to her finances, and another friend who has a series of post it notes with due dates on her fridge. Whatever your system, you need to have a way to stay on top of your fiscal health and by putting the dollars and cents on paper, you can accurately see where your money is going and where improvements can be made. The old records you have can also show you the progress you’ve made come 2015. The internet offers many free resources to help you keep track of your debts, savings and monthly budget.
As always, if you’re looking for mortgage information of any type, contact the Mortgagegirl at 780.433.8412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay in the loop by following on Twitter @mortgagegirlca.