As we head into the New Year, many have already made New Year’s resolutions. In fact, a study shows that 45% of all Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution, and 34% of those resolutions are related to finances. And now the bad news: Only 8% are successful in reaching their New Year’s Resolutions. 24% never succeed and have failed on every New Year’s Resolution they have ever set. The odds aren’t in your favor. And though we at First Castle FCU can’t help you lose weight or take that class at the community college, we can help with your financial goals. If you’ve set 2013 as the year that you’re going to get your finances together, we’ve put together some resources to help you find success in helping to reach your New Year’s Resolutions dealing with personal finance. First, here’s a check-list of things you can do to help jump start your success:
• Review your loans and credit cards. Gather some basic information about each loan and credit card balance you have and then call First Castle. We may be able to refinance some of those loans to a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payment.
• Set a household budget and stick to it. This may be the most difficult part of your New Year’s Resolution. It takes time and discipline to make a budget and actually stick to it. But after a few weeks of managing your money you’ll see just how much money was being wasted, and how much you’re now saving! That money you’re saving can either be directed towards paying down debt, or towards saving for a rainy day. First Castle has several savings products that can help. Instead of setting one goal, many find it easier to set a 30, 60, and 90 day goal.
• Review your credit report. By finding and correcting errors, your credit score is likely to improve, which will give you access to better rates when you request a new loan, or refinance an existing loan. You can also request a free copy of your credit report every twelve months at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Credit Unions were founded on this basis: People Helping People, Help Themselves. We hope that you’ll allow First Castle to help you find success in the New Year’s Resolutions you have set in regards to your finances. Here’s to a happy and financially healthy 2013!