Now that the holidays are over, New Year’s Resolutions are in full swing! If you’re resolving to improve your financial habits, and still have to decide what to do with your year-end bonus, here’s a few starting points to help you make the best of your hard-earned gift.
- Pay off debts
We cannot emphasize this enough. Saving is such a wonderful thing, but it won’t make too much of a difference if you’re swimming in debt. Make paying off your debts a top priority this year - 2017 is the year to finally kick that debt to the curb!
- Build up your Rainy Day Savings
If we’ve learned anything from 2016, it’s that the unexpected can and probably will happen. Take the extra effort this year to hope for the best, yet plan for the worst. Putting your year-end gift away in your rainy day savings could be one of the greatest long-term choices you can make this year. You never know what giant expense could come your way!
- Increase Retirement Contributions
If your company offers a retirement savings match and you’re not contributing to the full match amount – no better time to start than now! Employer matches can be one of your company’s greatest benefits. It is the closest thing we can get to “free” money in today’s day and age. Even if you just increase your contribution by one percent, slowly working your way up to the full match is a step in the right direction. Use your year-end gift as a cushion in the first couple weeks of increasing your contribution, and begin to watch your retirement savings grow.
If you’re still questioning the best use of your year-end bonus, we’d love to help. Set up an appointment with one of our advisors today to begin the budgeting and financial planning conversation.
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The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by LPL. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.