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Resolve to Meet Your Financial Goals in the New Year

Resolve to Meet Your Financial Goals in the New Year

Achieving your financial goals can sound like a daunting New Year’s resolution if you aren’t organized when it comes to your money. But by planning ahead, you can more easily improve your financial situation. If you’re new to money management — don’t stress — new tools are making it simple to stay on top of your finances, allowing you to pay down debt and save for the future. Here are some foolproof ways to achieve your financial goals this year: Short and Long-Term Goals Whether you dream of owning the latest iPhone, a home, or you’re planning for retirement, identifying your goals is the first step to making them happen. Without goals, it’s easy to spend too much money on the here and now without thinking about the future. Figure out what portion of each paycheck you’re willing to divert to a goal-designated savings account. This will give you a realistic idea of how long your goals will take to achieve.{{more}} Talk to your employer’s Human Resources department about how to set up a 401 or 403. Not only are your contributions to your account tax-free, but many employers will even match your contribution, which is an offer that should be impossible to refuse. Tracking Finances Tracking your finances can help you make smart financial decisions that won’t put you in debt. But before you clear off your desk and buy file folders, consider this:  electronic money management can save you the mountain of paperwork. Free online resources can help you manage all your financial accounts in one place. For example, personal finance website Mint.com, allows you to categorize your spending, create budgets and savings goals, and set up bill reminders and alerts. Available for Android and iPhone phones and tablets, you can manage your spending on the go and in real time.