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Financially Fit
Resolutions For The New Year

The new year is an ideal time for recommitting ourselves to things that are important to us. What could be more important than being financially fit? And what could be better than starting fresh in a new year? Now's the time to set your goals. Here are my picks for the most important resolutions for financial fitness this year and beyond.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)If you don't have a written budget, do one now. If you do have a budget, resolve to stick to it.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to take advantage of your employer's retirement plan, whether it's a 401(k), a 403(b), or any other kind of contributory plan.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to save between 5 and 10% of your take home pay. Don't set money aside only when there's some left over; pay yourself first. There's a good reason why you've heard this advice over and over. It works. Set aside 5 to 10% of every paycheck in an interest-bearing account such as a money-market account, or in tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to pay off those credit cards. Credit card debt is the number one reason that most people can't get ahead. You may be shocked to learn that paying the minimum balance due on a $1000 balance with a 16 to 18% interest rate may take 20 to 30 years to pay off. Think twice before whipping out the plastic.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to write or update your will. Wills are not just for the rich. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family or beneficiaries you designate. If you have children, a will allows you to appoint a guardian for them in the event of your death.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to educate yourself about basic financial planning issues. Financial planning is not voodoo. It's not rocket science. And it doesn't have to be boring. The internet makes educating yourself financially both fun and easy.

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to write down your financial goals. You wouldn't start out on a long trip without a road map, would you? Well, the road to financial freedom can be short and sweet (for those who plan and who follow a road map), or it can be a long, meandering path that leads to a dead-end (for those who fail to make a plan for reaching their destination).

home_chicklet1.gif (311 bytes)Resolve to get started NOW on the road to financial freedom. German philosopher Goethe said "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

This year, resolve to begin. Resolve to be bold when it comes to taking control of your financial future.

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