Here are the nine resolutions from the article:
- I will accurately assess my financial situation.
- I will diversify my assets — for real this time.
- I will contribute more to my 401(k) — or at least start contributing.
- I will stop obsessively checking my 401(k) performance.
- I will improve my credit.
- I will stop thinking of my home as a lending institution or get-rich-quick scheme.
- I will get my home reappraised.
- I will budget for charitable giving.
- I will review my contracts
It’s easy not to be realistiic with your financial situation. I learned at an early age to asses my finances honestly. I am an optimist, but I look at my budget with realism.
This is something I need to evaluate for 2009. I had my 401(k) in five different mutual funds, but I am thinking that I need to diversify a little more.
I did well at this in 2008, but now I am more concerned about eliminating all of our debt, so I might put the retirement contributions on hold, because I don’t receive a company match anymore.
I had to laugh at this one. I was guilty as charged when I was at my previous job. The best advice is to set it and forget it for at least 3 to 6 months at a time. You definitely need to keep track of your investments, but if you look at it every day, you’ll drive yourself nuts.
Our credit is pretty good. There’s not much more that we could do. We also aren’t planning on making any large purchases for the next few years. I also plan on buying our next car with cash.
This is great advice. Stop treating your personal residence as a means for getting rich quick. Treat it like your home first and your investment second. You must treat your home as a long-term investment, but don’t jump from house to house with the purpose of making money off of it. If you want to flip houses, do it with rental properties, not your home.
This one is important, because you could save hundreds of dollars on your property taxes. Let’s say you bought your house in 2004 during the thick of the real estate boom at $200,000, and your house was appraised by the county tax collector close to the selling price. But now, your house might have a market value of $160,000 to $175,000. Get it reappraised, and your property tax bill will be lower.
I was convicted by this one. We need to get better at this one for 2009. I want to start taking the money out of our budget at the beginning of the month.
The only one that I need to take care of is our cell phone contracts. We still have 10 months left on one of our phone lines, but our service is horrible with T-mobile in the area we live now. I looked at their coverage map, and we are in the one bar zone, so I am pretty sure they will let me off the hook for the contract. We’ll probably switch to AT&T or Verizon.
Which of these resolutions speak to you most for the new year?