You know the year-end ritual, make all sorts of promises to do better, be it exercising more, eating better, or any number of well-intended goals. Trouble is, typically by Valentine’s Day those vows have vanished. Maybe what you need is an incentive. How about cash? Here are 15 financial resolutions that are worth keeping because they’ll make you more money.
Pay off high-interest credit cards
With average U.S. household credit card debt growing to $15,482 per family and an average credit card interest rate of 13.08 percent, Stoyan Panayotov, CEO of Babylon Wealth Management, says paying off credit card debt should be on the priority list of financial resolutions for 2019. What’s the urgency? “The Fed is expected to hike interest rates at least three more times in the upcoming year,” he says. The sooner you get rid of the debt, the better. Find out the credit cards you should never open in the first place.
You know how hefty late fees can be, so why give creditors more money than they deserve? Make paying bills easy on yourself and set up auto-pay for your monthly bills. Not only do you save a bundle by avoiding late fees, but some lenders and utility companies also offer reduced interest rates or other benefits when you use their automated payment services, points out Sean Fox, co-president of Freedom Debt Relief.
Build an emergency fund
You can avoid expensive credit card debt if you have a stash to draw on when an emergency arises. Try to save enough to cover six to nine months of basic living expenses. Then when an unexpected expense comes up, like a car repair bill or medical expense, or if you suddenly lose your job, you won’t have to put even more debt on a credit card. “With rising interest rates and economists warning that a recession is inevitable (not necessarily in 2019, but in the foreseeable future), the last thing you want to do is have high-interest credit card debt or, worse yet, have to turn to a payday loan to cover an expense,” Fox says.