Magazine article Public Management

Smart Saving Strategies to Start in the New Year: Strategies to Help Kick-Start Your Retirement Goals

Magazine article Public Management

Smart Saving Strategies to Start in the New Year: Strategies to Help Kick-Start Your Retirement Goals

Article excerpt

I am always excited when the new year comes around. It is a time of reflection for me--of the year past and the one that lies ahead. Keeping tabs on my retirement savings is something I do--and encourage others to do--year around.

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The first of the year is always a good time to revisit and rethink your retirement planning strategy. If you anticipate setting out a few new year's resolutions for yourself, here are five savings strategies to help kick-start your goals.

* Create a budget and plan to stick to it. Monitoring your expenses will help you see exactly where your money is spent and give you a starting point for deciding which areas can be cut back. In the long run, budgeting will give you tighter control over your money, allowing you to invest or save as your needs require.

* Pay off your debts. Maintaining a balance on high-interest credit cards and loans can cost thousands of dollars over time. To decrease the amount of debt you owe, pay more than the minimum monthly balance on the loan or credit card bills that have the highest interest rates. In this manner, you can systematically reduce your debts.

* Establish an emergency fund. Having money available for long-term or short-term emergencies means you won't have to take out high-interest loans or credit cards to cover them. Start small. It will add up over time and save you fees and interest in the event that something unexpected does occur. …

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