BOSTON (CBS) – We’re still working on Fidelity’s top 10 financial resolutions.
#5 A Budget
Folks think budget is a dirty word but once you get one set up it does makes your finances easier. You will need to analyze your current spending. Where does your money go each month? A budget is essential for saving. You do want money left over each month to save and invest.
For some you may want to use pen and paper and for others there are apps out there can help you keep track of everything you spend. There is Mint.com which my niece loves and Quicken which I have used for many years. And there is lots in between.
#6 An Emergency Fund
Life happens while we plan it. Set aside at least three to six months of living expenses. It could be an illness, loss of a job, car problems. While driving home from BZ a couple of weeks back my car was hit by a rather large deer. The deer carried no insurance. I had to come with the deductible.
You need to be prepared for the unexpected. For many folks, this needs to be the first savings goal. Go through your budget and see where you can save, even small amounts add up to achieve this goal.
Most everyone over 35 has a retirement dream. Usually it’s retiring early. But it may be as simple as sleeping late or riding your bike or playing golf on a sunny afternoon. But it always requires having enough money saved to quit working and live the life style you dream about.
Fidelity suggests saving at least 15% of your pretax income each year, from age 25 to age 67. It should help ensure that you have enough income to maintain your current lifestyle in retirement.
15% is a hard to do. Start out with the company match and each year increase the percentage by one or two points. If you get to 10% or more you will be golden.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.