A “Lucky Seven” to Start the New Year

January is a time when just about everyone is thinking about self-improvement. Whether it’s losing weight, finding a new job or improving your financial situation, the ideas are flying. While we can’t help with the first two, we can offer a few tips to help 2019 be a Happy New Year for your wallet. Take a look at our “Lucky Seven” financial resolutions for 2019.

  • Save something! We all want to save more money but a generic promise to “save more” is pretty easy to break. Your chances of succeeding increase as your goal becomes more specific. Is there a home improvement project you’d like to do? Is there a credit card or loan you’d like to pay off? Or is there an exotic vacation in your future? It’s so much easier to save when you have a specific amount in mind so start doing some research. Check out the cost of that project or vacation and figure out how much you need to save every week or month to make it a reality. If there’s a bill you’d like to eliminate, check out an online calculator to help you determine the amount you’ll need to pay each month to finish off your debt.
  • Contribute to retirement. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 50, you can’t go wrong by saving money for a rosy retirement. Many companies offer a 401-K plan with a company match. If your company is one of them, make every effort to contribute at least the minimum to get the match. This is almost like free money! If your employer doesn’t offer a 401-K plan, check out your options for an IRA (traditional or Roth). There are some specific requirements for each but those are easily found through an online search.
  • Check and freeze your credit. Everyone is able to obtain a free copy of their credit report once a year, with some states (including Georgia) allowing for consumers to receive two per year. Annualcreditreport.com is your one-stop-shop to obtain your report. You do not need to pay any website to access this information. Checking your report on a regular basis will help you uncover any discrepancies that could be a sign of someone trying to steal your identity or open credit in y our name. While you’re checking your credit, why not consider freezing it at the same time? Freezing your credit means that no one can access your credit report without your knowledge. However, do keep in mind that you will have to “unfreeze” your credit report should you decide to apply for a new loan, credit card or make a major purchase. When you freeze your report, you’ll be given an access code that will allow you to unlock  our information for a period of time that you choose. As long as you don’t lose your access code, this is a small inconvenience to trade for the additional security.
  • Monitor your investments. With the recent wild swings of the stock market, it’s a good time to keep an eye on your investment portfolio. Work with your investment professional to be sure your investments are compatible with your current stage in life. It might be time to make some adjustments OR to just sit tight and wait for things to calm down.
  • Review your insurance. When was the last time you reviewed your insurance policies to be sure you have the proper coverage for your property and life. Circumstances change and so can your insurance needs. Here again, it’s a good idea to start a new year by sitting down with your insurance agent for a comprehensive review. You might find out your in great shape and nothing needs to change but you could also find out you’re lacking in some areas. The best time to learn that information is NOT when you’re facing an emergency but well in advance to you can rest easy, knowing if the worst happens, you’ll be covered.
  • Track your spending and create a budget. Oh, how those little items add up! A cup of coffee here, a little treat there and pretty soon you’ve gone through your discretionary income for the week. Why not try tracking everything you spend for a week? You could be surprised at the little things you’ve never even noticed and the amount of money you end up spending on them. Use your findings from your tracking to help you set a budget. Knowing where you spend your money can help you find ways to cut back. It can also help you understand the little things that bring you pleasure and that you don’t want to cut. Life is too short to go without some little treats and a well-designed budget can help you continue to enjoy them. Think about it this way – if your budget is too strict and doesn’t allow for ANY little pleasures, what are the chances you’ll stick to it. A good budget will include funds for saving, paying bills, supporting your favorite charities AND some “just for fun” funds.
  • Track your progress. Tracking your progress will help you stick to those resolutions AND help you spot areas for improvement before it’s too late to make a change. There’s nothing like a bit of good news to keep your motivation intact. Regular check-ins should only take a few minutes and, come the end of 2019, you and your finances will be better off for the time and money you invested.

Everyone at Quantum National Bank wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019. We thank you for allowing us to serve you in the past and look forward to continuing to be “Your Banking Partner for Success” in the future.








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