Lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job and get out of debt. Sound familiar? A survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education finds nearly 7 out of 10 U.S. adults will make a financial New Year’s resolution for 2013, a sign that many Americans are as focused on their financial health as their physical health.
Unfortunately, many people give up on their goals before January comes to an end. But with financial resolutions, a buddy can help. The National Endowment for Financial Education survey, commissioned online by Harris Interactive, says 85 percent of respondents believe having someone who understands their financial goals and can assist in holding them accountable would be helpful.
“A financial buddy can be anyone: a spouse, a trusted friend, a family member or a co-worker, and it doesn’t have to be someone with whom you share all of your financial information,” says Paul Golden, spokesperson for NEFE. “It is similar to having a workout buddy. You want someone to help you stay the course, reach short- and long-term goals and remember that you are not alone. And if you both have similar goals, you can share your respective struggles and triumphs along the way.”
A buddy can make the difference in sticking with financial goals by helping you stay focused, solve problems, make prudent choices, try new approaches and remember that change never comes easily.
“You want someone who is supportive, trustworthy and sets a good example,” Golden adds. “The greatest characteristics of a financial buddy will be someone who shares the same values and vision and someone who can bring perspective to the financial highs and lows that you experience.”
For help with setting goals and getting finances in order in 2013, visit www.smartaboutmoney.org.
6 Money Mistakes to Avoid
1. Don’t spend mindlessly. Do determine your life values, set financial goals, and make purchases that align with your priorities.
2. Don’t let your financial paperwork, bills and statements pile up. Do take the time to get organized. Stay on top of your finances so you are aware of important information about your accounts and know when payments are due.
3. Don’t shortchange your savings. Do save for short-term goals. But make sure you save for long-term goals and emergencies as well. Learn more about the three categories of savings.
4. Don’t waste money on interest by making minimum payments. Do try paying even an extra $10 each month on your credit card balance. Reducing your outstanding debt faster means more money in your pocket.
5. Don’t procrastinate your financial responsibilities. Do tackle a financial goal, whether it is reviewing your insurance policies or creating a will. Bonus points for opening a savings fund, since time is on your side.
6. Don’t ignore the future. Do actively plan and manage your retirement. Even if it seems far away, begin to determine how you will pay yourself in your retirement years.
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© 2012 National Endowment for Financial Education. Used with permission. All rights reserved.