6 New Year's Resolutions to Consider

new years resolutionsThe Illinois CPA Society is making New Year’s resolutions a bit easier for all of us in 2011. They have suggested a number of things to improve your personal finances during the year. Check out this short list from the Society for things you might want put your financial house in order:

  1. Start Saving.  Could you take the $50 you just spent on that sweater and save it instead?  Cut back on downloads or dining out?  Review what you spent money on in 2010 for ideas on places to cut back.
  2. Set a reachable goal.  Whether it’s getting out of debt or buying a home, plan to accomplish something with your money in 2011. Put away a small amount each month towards your goal.
  3. Save it for a rainy day. My Grandmother always told me to put a little money back in case I needed it later. Apparently the Illinois CPAs agree!  Prepare for a layoff or health emergency by working towards having three to six months worth of living expenses socked away.
  4. Make a will.  Not pleasant to think about, but you want to make things easier on your family and protect your assets.
  5. Check your credit report. I bet like a lot of us you have been meaning to check it, but perhaps afraid to. Use it as a starting point to get your credit in good shape.  Get a free report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
  6. Take steps toward retirement.  Contribute to your 401K plan at work – at least enough to get the match if one’s available.  If you’re already contributing, consider a 1 or 2 percent increase.

Need some professional help?  Turn to the Society’s Find a CPA Directory online at www.icpas.org to locate a CPA in your community and to Twitter, @thriftitude, for money management tips from the Illinois CPA Society.

Of course if a McHenry County new homes, Poplar Grove homes or Williams Bay homes are on your list, Gerstad Builders is here to help with that!