5 Recommendations for Putting Your Finances on Track in the New Year

January 21, 2015

To those rituals you follow for welcoming the New Year with health, wealth, and good luck, add these five more. After all, they’re practices that will help you achieve your goals and have a good financial plan that will accompany you until and after retirement.

  1. Set a financial goal. It might be something simple like paying off a loan or going on vacation. If you want to meet it, you have to be realistic. First determine the amount of money you need and set a date for hitting your target. Divide the amount you need into periodic monthly or weekly payments and see whether you can hit your goal within the time you’ve set for yourself. Remember—you have to visualize the goal in order to achieve it.
  2. Put away even the small change. There’s nothing wrong with putting nickels and dimes in your piggy bank. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can save that way. Even in just one week! And don’t forget “electronic” money. If you have a deposit account with Banco Popular, you can sign up to use Ahorro Directo to put money away every time you use your Banco Popular ATH card.
  3. Look for ways to change your spending habits. Calculate how much you spend each day. Identify unnecessary expenses and then think about cutting back on them. Save that money and use it to help achieve some of your goals, like having a financially healthy retirement. You can use internet tools to help you visualize this. One of the experts’ favorites is the Personal Budget Worksheet. If you want to go further, use our Money Management Tool in My Online Bank.
  4. Save without even thinking about it. Program an automatic transfer from your deposit account on paydays—send a set amount to your savings account for retirement or to create an emergency fund. In no time you’ll forget that the transfer exists. You won’t miss the money that you set aside from your salary and your savings account will grow and grow and grow.
  5. Let’s go to extremes. Ready for this? Challenge yourself to integrate a new recreational activity into your schedule each month, one that’s cost-free, like going to the park, walking on the beach, or reading a book. You’ll find that you can enjoy yourself without having to always spend money. Another idea is to change your morning route to work. If you pay tolls to go to the office, find other routes, carpool, or use mass transit. Add and subtract and you’ll see that you’ll save money.

Include these tips into your New Year’s rituals. In no time you’ll get used to doing things this new way and you’ll see how you’re achieving your goal of a healthy financial future. Start today—don’t procrastinate. (That’s another great New Year’s resolution!)

The information and general descriptions in this article are designed to help you understand the factors that should normally be taken into consideration when assessing the effectiveness of any strategy or investment in your retirement plan. Any description in this article is for informational and educational purposes only, and for your independent consideration; it is not to be considered, or seen, as advice or a suggestion for taking (or not taking) any particular action. In providing this information, we assume that you are capable of evaluating this information and the general descriptions included here and exercising independent judgment.