As the economy began to slide last year, many people focused on making New Year’s resolutions regarding their personal finances. Sadly, according to a number of studies, a whooping eighty-five percent or more of us fail to keep any of our New Year’s resolutions. Even more unsettling is that by the time February begins, fifty percent of resolutions are already blown! For many, the resolutions are just to big to achieve. Rather than focus on unattainable monetary goals, experts advise four straight-forward steps to financial success.First and foremost, make a budget. From fancy software packages to simple pencil and paper versions, a budget is even more important during financially difficult times than during good times. The goal of your budget is simple – do not spend more money, on a periodic basis, than you make during that same period. For many, the second step is to focus on paying down debt aggressively. With the risk of unemployment growing, servicing a large debt if you become unemployed is an unnecessary burden. For the majority of people whose income does exceed their needs, experts are calling for a “save some, spend some” approach to one’s finances. Most experts advise building a cash reserve of six months or more of living expenses. However, experts are also cautioning us not to become Scrooges, as two-thirds of the US economy is dependent on consumer spending.
With mortgage interest rates at historic lows, and with the potential of even lower rates to come, the fourth item experts are loudly recommending is a mortgage review. Many households can save hundreds of dollars every month with a simple refinance. Please give me a call and I will be happy to help you review your financial situation to understand whether refinancing your mortgage makes good economic sense.