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Five New Year’s Resolutions to Make You Richer

January 2019 BlogJanuary 2019

A mere eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Ouch! So often, we set good intentions and get hyped for great things to come, but we lose steam–often in just a few weeks.

Among the many popular resolutions set each year, squaring up finances and making more money always top the charts. So, if you’re looking to get rich this year, what can you do to succeed? Outside of winning the lotto, financial success comes down to doing the basics well.

  1. Earn More. One of the most logical ways to “get richer” is to earn more money. Easier said than done, right? But there are always ways to boost your income. Ask for a raise. Strive for the promotion. Seek out a new job that pays more. Take on a side hustle. A recent study revealed four in 10 Americans are taking on part-time work in the form of freelance jobs, home repairs, crafting or providing rideshare services. Every little bit counts. A big promotion or job change could drive up your income significantly, while a side hustle might net you $200 more a month.
  2. Save More. It’s not always easy, and takes discipline, but saving more now will translate into beefier accounts in your future. If you can earn more in the New Year, take that new income source and immediately stash it away into savings. You’ve already grown accustomed to living off the salary from the past, so you won’t miss the new bump in funds. Contribute more to your retirement accounts–even bumping up your deposits by an extra percent or two will net you greater gains in the long run. Finally, see if there are fresh ways to cut your existing budget and take those dollars and move them into a new account.
  3. Minimize Your Tax Liabilities*. No one enjoys paying taxes, so look at your tax bill early in the year and see where you can make some changes. There are multiple accounts in which you can sock away pre-tax dollars. Retirement accounts are the most obvious way to reduce your income tax burden for the year. Contribute $10,000 into a pre-tax account and that is $10,000 you don’t need to pay taxes on. A dependent care account is another popular way to save smart, allowing you to take pre-tax dollars and set them aside to pay for things like approved childcare expenses. You can also open a Health Savings Account (HSA), allocating pre-tax dollars and placing them into a special account for payment of medical expenses, prescriptions, glasses and many other approved, health-related expenses. Retirement, childcare and medical expenses are often things we need to save for anyway, so you might as well be smart and reap the tax benefits by placing these dollars into the right types of accounts.
  4. Put Your Money to Work. Again, as you earn and save more, ensure you drop your monies into accounts that work harder for you. Yes, you’ll of course have funds sitting in your basic checking and savings accounts, but for excess funds you should turn to accounts where you can net a greater return on your dollars. For money you don’t need in the immediate future, share certificates are a great option. If you’re saving for school-related expenses, consider a Coverdell Education Savings Account or 529 plan. If you’re maxing out a 401k, fund an IRA as well. A diverse group of accounts dedicated to your various savings goals and expenses will benefit you today, and in the long run.
  5. Be Patient. Finally, recognize that there is no quick fix to getting rich. Don’t expect to be living large 30 days into the new year after you start to make some financial changes. But, if you consistently save more and divert your savings into smart investments, you will reap the rewards in the months and years to come. The new year is a great time to make changes and form new habits, and if you’re disciplined, you’ll be one of the eight percent of people to see success with your New Year’s resolutions next January.

*Information in this article is not intended as tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for tax implications.

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