MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – One of the top new year resolutions this year is to save more money or make more money.
President of Northstar Financial Advisors Patrick Munro says to start 2017 off on the right track, you must first look at your finances from 2016.
“Hold a year end review with yourself. Say okay where was I? What did I do good? What did I do not so good,” said Munro.
In that review, look at your major bills. Are there other service providers that could offer you a better deal?
“Always have your ears open for a better deal. Car insurance is a big one, you know, it’s a very competitive market place right now,” said Munro.
According to GoBankingRates.com, 62% percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and 47% wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency without borrowing.
Munro says the key to changing that is to stay on top of your expenses.
“You need to track them and have them categorized in your budget and on a regular basis say you know listen is there a way I can save? Can I go out to eat one less time a month because that’s money in my pocket,” said Munro.
The next step is to look at ways to invest, but Munro says to avoid risky business like the stock market.
“People will get involved with stock sometimes at the wrong time. The market has been going up but when things go down, what’s the rest of the story…they can go back down again and if you’re older, it’s a harder thing to do,” said Munro.
Munro says there’s a fine line, and you shouldn’t play it too safe by putting all of your money in the bank.
“You can overcorrect and with the bank rates being as low as they are and having to pay taxes on that too, there’s not much left for you. So, you have to seek out a financial advisor who has the knowledge of things that are equally safe but also perform, and that way you’ll achieve your goals a lot quicker,” said Munro.
It’s also important to set up an emergency fund in case something were to happen.
Your smartphone can help you do that and keep track of all of your expenses with the following apps in your phone’s app store:
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)
- Grocery iQ