Discover the Financial Principles of the Bible

7 Financial Resolutions for 2012

The beginning of a new year has always been a time when people have made resolutions to eat healthier, exercise regularly and generally improve their overall lifestyle. It is also a good time to take a step back and evaluate your financial situation. Here are 7 financial resolutions for 2012 to help you get started.

Give more to the Lord
Many people will start 2012 making New Year’s resolutions that in the long run will benefit them little. Yes, they may have a healthier lifestyle or make more money, but if they lose their soul it gained them nothing. You’re much better off resolving to give more to the Lord in 2012. That certainly includes finances, but shouldn’t be limited to them either.

Increase your 401k contribution
If you are not already contributing to a 401k plan, then start in 2012. If you are already part of a plan, then resolve to increase your contributions this year. Too many people simply start out contributing a small percentage of their salary to their 401k program and leave it on auto-pilot for years. While that’s certainly better than nothing, it’s a decision you will likely regret in the long run.

Expand your savings options
Savings is a strategy that should involve more than just a single option. That means if you have a regular savings account, then setup an emergency fund. If you have an emergency fund, they start contributing to your company’s 401k plan. If you’re already contributing to a 401k plan, then open a Roth IRA. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. Ecc. 11:2.

Comparison shop for insurance
15 minutes truly can save you money on insurance. Despite having a clean driving record and zero insurance claims, amazingly my insurance costs seem to spike higher each year. Fortunately, by spending a few minutes on websites like you can receive multiple quotes from insurance companies to see if it’s worth switching carriers. It may take a little more than 15 minutes, but it could result in several hundred dollars worth of savings.

Start saving for next Christmas

American shoppers spent an estimated $46 billion this year buying gifts for the holidays. That equates to $150 for every man, woman and child living in this great country. Unfortunately, few people actually saved that money ahead of time and are now opening their credit card statements with trembling hands. Don’t let that happen to you in 2012. Just saving $50 each month will net you $600 to spend on holiday gifts next year without having to go in debt at all.

Consider refinancing your mortgage
As we begin 2012, mortgage rates are at an all-time low. That means it’s a good time to evaluate whether refinancing your mortgage makes sense. As recently as 2010, 30-year mortgage rates were above 5% and now they are below 4%. Refinancing to a 15 year mortgage could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments and help you to pay off your house sooner.

Check your credit reports
Each year you are allowed one free credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). The beginning of the year is a great time to review your credit report for errors or even to identify old credit cards that you may not even use anymore.

Filed in: Budgeting, Christian Finance, Real Estate

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