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9 Financial Resolutions to Make for 2009

By Erik Folgate

  • MSN Money has this article about financial resolutions for 2009. We often overlook our finances when thinkng about resolutions. Many people want to lose weight, stop smoking, do more house projects, but often overilook making financial resolutions.

    Here are the nine resolutions from the article:

    1. I will accurately assess my financial situation.
    2. 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.

    3. I will diversify my assets — for real this time.
    4. 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.

    5. I will contribute more to my 401(k) — or at least start contributing.
    6. 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.

    7. I will stop obsessively checking my 401(k) performance.
    8. 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.

    9. I will improve my credit.
    10. 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.

    11. I will stop thinking of my home as a lending institution or get-rich-quick scheme.
    12. 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.

    13. I will get my home reappraised.
    14. 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.

    15. I will budget for charitable giving.
    16. 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.

    17. I will review my contracts
    18. 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?

  • Erik Folgate
    Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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    • Micheal

      Great and useful post! Its important to know what you want out of 2009 otherwise life is no fun!

    • http://www.thestrump.com TStrump

      I think charitable giving is important.
      No matter how bad the economy tanks, we should be able to afford to give SOMETHING.
      I set up automatic payments on my credit card and will continue to do so this year.

    • author

      definitely agree with you tstrump.

    • poor boomer

      1. My financial situation sucks. Badly.
      2. I have no assets and my income is insufficient to acquire any.
      3. Don’t have one.
      4. Check.
      5. My income is insufficient to improve my credit.
      6. My home is making my landlord rich.
      7. I am utterly unable to see why I should.
      8. You have GOT to be kidding.
      9. Don’t have any contracts.

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