It’s just about that time of year to start making those familiar resolutions to change this or that in the new year. Since I’m pregnant, vowing to lose weight is pretty much useless so I’m going to focus on what I do best, making financial resolutions so that 2014 will be a better year than 2013. Not that 2013 was bad. My family made some great strides by setting a budget, starting an emergency fund, buying a term life insurance policy for me, and paying off roughly $8,000 in debt, but there’s a lot more we can do to put us in a better position in the coming year. Here are my top 5 Financial Resolutions.

Planning for the What Ifs

Will

1. Make a Will – This is just one of those things we’ve been putting off for a long time, because no one wants to imagine they’re going to die any time soon. I feel a little sick just thinking about it, especially the part about deciding who would get custody of my kids if something were to happen to me and my husband. Nobody wants to think about that happening, but then again I don’t think any of us would want our kids to become wards of the state either. I’m going to look into setting up a simple will through legalzoom.com.

2. Kick Up the Emergency Fund – We had a decent emergency fund going when our household suddenly found ourselves down not one but 2 cars back in July so buying two new used cars did some major deflating of our emergency fund. We have a base fund, but I really want to kick it up to cover at least 3 months of expenses.

Time’s Running Out

Erase Debt

3. Pay off our Credit Cards – We have two credit cards with fairly small balances with special promotional 0% APRs that expire in 2014 so I want to make sure they are paid off before the promotional period is up. I’m going to pay them off when we get our tax refund and then I vow not to use my cards in 2014 at all.

The Future is Coming, Ready or Not

4. Start a Spousal IRA – Since becoming a stay-at-home mom nearly two years ago, I’ve stopped contributing to any kind of retirement fund. While we were initially navigating the single-income waters, my retirement was put on the back burner. After a little research and talking to a financial adviser at my credit union, I discovered that I can open a Spousal IRA with as little as $50 a month so as soon as the credit cards are paid off I’m going to reallocate those would-be payments to contributions to a retirement account for myself. I think this is an important move all stay-at-home moms should make, because let’s face it, we often forget to take care of our needs and our future isn’t going to wait just because we’re not ready for it.

5. Make Room for Baby! – This one is both literal and figurative. With a new baby due in July, we really need to prepare for both the additional costs in our budget and continue to make progress toward our home renovations so there is literally room for baby.

What are your financial resolutions for the new year? Share them here. Follow me on Facebook because the peer pressure will be good motivation.

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