April 24, 2024

Top 5 financial resolutions for the new year

Some of the tips include paying down debt, building an emergency fund, and cutting spending.

ATLANTA — Many people throughout metro Atlanta will start off 2024 by making New Year’s resolutions. While going to the gym or getting more organized are always good resolutions, experts said you should also be thinking about your money.

Financial expert Andrew Poulos said getting your finances in order should be top of mind. He has five big tips to keep more money in your wallet.

“First and foremost, if you don’t have an emergency savings fund, I think you should focus on that. That’s something that we all need to have in case we have a family emergency, an unexpected job layoff, which could happen if we go into a recession in 2024, some economists predict,” Poulos said. 

Poulos recommends having enough money in your emergency fund to cover six months of living expenses but said nine months is even better. 

The second tip is prioritizing saving. 

“If you can get it to where you’re saving 15 to 20% of your take-home income, putting it in the bank account in a money market account, some savings account that can earn you four or 5% interest, the interest may not be a lot overall, but it’s going to teach you good habits of being able to save,” Poulos said. 

Poulos’ third financial resolution is to pay down debt, particularly on credit cards

“Start with the credit cards that have the higher interest rates, even if they’re smaller amounts because it’ll get you to the point where you pay some down,” Poulos said.

The fourth tip is to cut your expenses.

“Sit down as a household and see where your money’s going,” Poulos said. “Cut out what you don’t need. It’s always a question of what do we need versus what do we want?” 

The fifth tip is making a will or updating a will if you already have one.

“We all want to live a long, healthy, happy life,” Poulos said. “Things happen, so being able to have a will in place will mitigate, you know, potential financial issues post-death for your beneficiaries.” 

Poulos has a bonus tip for the New Year: Consider refinancing your home because interest rates are expected to decrease in 2024.

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