Three financial tips for new year

Be aware of spending traps: Certainly, most of us have no problem spending money. And retailers know it. They’ll make you walk through the entire store to buy a gallon of milk, hoping that you’ll be enticed to throw other items in your cart. And when you check out, the candy is, of course, down low at your kid’s eye level. To gain control over your finances, I want you to be aware of spending traps like these. Stick to your shopping list. If it’s not on the list, think twice before you buy it. You can take this a little further by setting a budget for discretionary items. For example, you might allocate a certain amount of money for entertainment, and then purposely decide when and how you will spend those dollars.

Put that bonus somewhere else: It can be hard to save money, especially if your budget is tight already. You can make it easier by focusing your savings on any raises, promotions or other windfalls that come your way. If you place half of any of that extra cash into savings, you’ll be able to build your nest egg without hurting your current budget. And if you have it automatically withdrawn, you won’t even see it. Bankrate’s calculators can show you how much your savings will be worth if you invest it. With the other half, you can add to your discretionary income and spend on purpose.

Make a financial resolution — and keep it: I don’t care what it is. The important thing is to have one, to be successful with it and let it build your financial confidence. Write down your resolution and place it somewhere in sight. You might save it as your wallpaper on your computer or phone. Place a copy of it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Put your resolution any place where you will be reminded on a daily basis of your commitment. Some of my favorite suggestions for resolutions are:

Check one of your credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus every four months. Dispute any incorrect information.

Improve your credit score by 20 points or more.

Commit to saving a set amount of money.

Pay off one debt that you have been carrying for more than six months.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

$4.99 sandwich promotion irks some Subway business owners

Management insists that “most franchisees support the promotion.”

Most Read