12/31/2010

New Year Financial Resolution

The New Year gives us all pause to consider where we have been and where we are going.  2010 has been a hard year for many economically.  In Virginia many jobs have been lost and many more families struggle with reduced salaries. Others have stable income, but their finances have spiralled out of control.  At Virginia Saves we encourage you to put the past behind you and take control of your financial future.  You can find lots of help on our website http://www.virginiasaves.org/.

As you resolve to make 2011 a better year for yourself, look for updates to our website and blog to help you get started.  Here are some actions you can take today to get started on your new course toward financial freedom:

1.  Get organized: put important papers in their proper place so that you can locate them when you need them.  You will soon be receiving tax statements, so you will want to have a file for those.  Monthly bills should have a place to reside as they arrive in the mail (or email).  As they are paid, they can be filed away for future reference if needed.  Look for a future blog post on organizing paper.

2.  Financial Checkup:  Now is a great time to do a financial assessment.  You can get one for free by contacting Virginiasaves@gmail.com.  A financial assessment will help you to document your income and expenses as well as establish a net worth statement so you can have a clear picture of what resources you have available.  Many people don't know.  Now is the time to change that for yourself.

3.  Make a plan:  Virginia Saves operates in partnership with the Financial Planning Association.  FPA  has pro bono financial planners who can help you get started on a financial plan for yourself.  Also, FPA has a free online financial planning tool at http://www.boulevardr.com/.  There is no better time to establish your financial goals than the new year.  FPA can help you create a plan that will allow you to achieve those dreams.

4.  Measure Success:  It isn't enough to make a plan, you need to take those positive actions that lead to success and measure your progress along the way.  Get the tools you need to evaluate your progress using the planning tools available at http://www.fpaforfinancialplanning.org/.  There is a free budgeting and planning tool that can help you measure success at http://www.mint.com/.  Can't beat free to start the New Year off right!

5.  Begin Saving:  Your future financial success will depend on having a savings reserve to cover the unexpected expenses of the year and to provide for those additional costs through the year like vacations, new purchases etc.  You can become a saver today at http://www.virginiasaves.org/.  There is no cost and no catch, just great resources to help you begin saving.  By the way, resolve to make that saving automatic this year so that it doesn't become the last priority but the first!

There you go!  As you start to implement your financial plans for 2011, make sure to take advantage of all the free resources available at http://www.virginiasaves.org/.  We are here to help you acheive your dreams.  Tell us about them by writing to us!

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