Financial Resolutions for 2014 

Monday, December 23, 2013 12:33:03 PM

 It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone! Every year at this time, we all look at our lives and try to identify areas that we could improve upon; and usually when we evaluate those goals at the end of each year, we haven't lived up to those expectations. Here are some possible financial resolutions for 2014 that may apply to you!

  • Create a monthly budget. There is no better, time-tested way to track your spending than a monthly budget. To be successful, capture as much detailed information as possible. To help you get started, take a look at this free budget worksheet.

  • Identify areas to reduce spending. Once your budget is complete, you should have a clear picture of where your money goes. Are you spending more money in one area than you thought? Eating out a lot? Texting too much? Buying more clothes than you need? Paying too much for cable? The list could go on! Set specific limits on items within your budget and stick to your plan.

  • Pay down existing debt. Many consumers treat credit like cash, borrowing money to pay for everyday costs. Add credit card debt to a mortgage, car loan, and student loan payments, results in many people drowning in red ink. Experts suggest keeping your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to 36% or less. If yours is higher, identify where you can reduce your debt load.

  • Save more than last year. The golden rule: save enough to pay your living expenses for at least 6 months. However, this is a very lofty goal for many. Instead, treat your savings like a monthly bill, and put away 10% of each paycheck. Over time, your savings account will grow, allowing you to prepare for the unexpected.

  • Talk with a CSE loan officer. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a CSE loan officer to get your free 'financial checkup'. Our loan officers will go through your credit report with you to help identify common financial pitfalls. Call us at 330.452.9801 to schedule an appointment or stop in to any of our 4 convenient locations.

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