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Transitioning From the Military

Transitioning From the Military
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New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Personal Finances

Many people dread making New Year’s resolutions because they’re afraid they’ll fall short. However, one minor setback doesn’t mean having to write off the rest of the year. Success can be attained by starting out with small steps.

Improving personal finances is a popular New Year’s resolution. Here are a few ideas from Jason Alderman, Personal Finance Expert and Director of Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life program:

  • Most dieters know that the key to success is to monitor every morsel you eat. You can use the same strategy when designing a livable budget. Use our free Budget calculator to get started.

  • For one month write down every cent you spend: rent, food, gas, clothes, cable, insurance, 401(k) contributions, entertainment – everything.

  • Start paying down debts. List all outstanding balances and their corresponding interest rates. Then, each month pay the minimum amount due on each account – except pay as much as possible on the highest-rate account or loan.

  • Start building an emergency fund. Start slowly with a few dollars each month. For example, set aside $1 a day for a month. Then double that amount to $2 for the next month. Double that again a month later and keep that pattern up. Use our Emergency Fund calculator to see how much you need to set aside for your fund.

  • Look to the future. Buying a home, paying for college and retirement are all big-ticket items that require sound budgeting and credit management skills.

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