Financial Resolutions for the Year 2014

No one wants to break their New Year’s resolutions, but it can be especially challenging to follow through on intentions to improve your financial fitness. Financial promises are among the most important and most rewarding to keep. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank – or your spirit – in order to keep those resolutions.

Here are three realistic, achievable resolutions that can help you improve your financial fitness in 2014.

1. Get better acquainted with your credit. Checking your credit report regularly is one of the easiest things you can do to better manage your overall finances. Yet many people look at it only once a year or when they’re thinking about applying for a loan or credit card. Understanding your credit behavior can help you make better decisions about spending, saving and how you use credit.

2. Build up your emergency fund. Your emergency savings account should contain enough cash to cover your expenses for several months if you suffer a job loss or other money crisis. Not only does that fund help ensure an emergency won’t run you into debt, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind in knowing you prepared yourself financially.

3. Choose one frivolous expense and curtail it. Making big budget cuts can be difficult and cutting too much may be hard to follow through on. So start modestly by choosing one thing you know you can do without (like that daily $8 latte or dining out five days a week) and trim it back. Put the money you save toward paying down debt, or add it into your retirement savings.

While these changes may seem small, they can yield big results. Plus, successfully sticking to a resolution is an empowering feeling – one that can boost your confidence to make even bigger changes as the year progresses.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc.  © 2013, Inc.  All rights reserved.