Easy tips to help Americans achieve financial success in the new year
Consumer Credit Counseling Service is sharing some advice for consumers who are facing another new year with budget and debt concerns. A recent survey by Fidelity Investments revealed more than a third of Americans intend to make a financial resolution for 2017.
"Financial resolutions are often hard to keep," said Paul C. Atkinson, president and CEO with CCCS. "The key to success is having access to the right tools for the job, and using them to reach achievable goals."
To help make those first steps toward a financial resolution a little easier, CCCS offers the following advice:
Take time in the beginning of the year to start a thorough financial review. This should include all income, expenses, debts and savings. The more often a budget review takes place, the easier it becomes. If it has been a while since the last review, restarting the process may seem daunting, but the longer it is put off, the harder it becomes to get started.
Now is the best time to turn things around and get back on track toward financial goals. The best news is that help is available if and when it is needed. Free financial tools like MyMoneyCheckup, available through the NFCC Sharpen Your Financial Focus program, are a good place to start.
Time is the biggest enemy when debt is piling up and budgets are broken. Bringing unpaid debt into the new year leaves little to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight. Acting quickly to address these problems can help make it easier to recover financially. It is like pressing a reset button. The key to success is knowing what options are available, and making informed choices based on the facts. Learn more about personal financial management using online educational resources or reach out to a trusted financial advocate for guidance
Put Debt In Its Place
If debt is getting in the way of life, start the year on the right foot by putting debt in its place. Focus on the accounts that are charging the highest interest rates and start power paying the balances until they are gone. The faster debt is retired, the more money can be saved on interest and fees over the long term. That means more cash for savings and important financial goals. When debt problems are more serious, involving past-due balances and debt collection, it's time to reach out for help from a nonprofit credit counselor who can offer expert guidance that may include a plan for affordable debt repayment.
Financial goals are important, so give them the time and attention they deserve. Putting a plan in motion this year can make all of the following years even better. For help making those goals a reality, speak to an NFCC certified counselor with CCCS. To get started today, call 712-2060 or visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org for more information.
CCCS is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and credit repayment assistance to consumers since 1965. CCCS of Buffalo helps consumers trim expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available at its main office in West Seneca, in one of its satellite offices, by telephone and via internet. Visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org for more information.
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