For many people, a new year provides a new start—and nothing says "new start" like a fresh new set of financial goals. But setting these goals is easier said than done. What steps should you take to get the most bang for your buck over the next year? Below we discuss three New Year's resolutions that may help you get your new year off to a great start.
Pay Off High-Interest Debt
Whether you have a payday loan, a credit card balance, a personal loan, or another type of debt that carries a higher-than-average interest rate, it's important to make a plan to pay this debt off as quickly as possible. If you have $6,000 in credit card debt at a 20 percent interest rate, it typically takes nearly 2 years to pay this debt off at a rate of $300 per month—and you may pay $1,374 in interest in the process. If, on the other hand, you raise your monthly payment amount to $600, you end up paying the debt off in only 12 months and save $750 in interest costs.
The more you pay each month, the faster your balance is likely to drop, and the less interest may accrue. If you can't afford to pay off your debt quickly, consider consolidating it into a single loan with a lower interest rate or transferring the balance to a 0% interest credit card.
Make a Student Loan Plan
Repayment of federal student loans has been paused since March 2020, and this moratorium is likely to continue through January 31, 2023. During this repayment pause, these loans haven't accrued any interest, and voluntary payments that borrowers have made have gone straight toward the outstanding balance. However, beginning in February 2022, student loan holders are likely to begin repayment. If you haven't been accounting for this payment in your budget during the moratorium, you need to add it back. You may also want to consider making some optional payments now, while they may still be applied at the 0 percent interest rate.
Create a Will or Estate Plan
More than half of all Gen Xers and Millennials don't have any sort of written will. But while death isn't something anyone wants to dwell on, particularly at the dawn of a new year, it's important to have your last wishes put into writing in the event of your untimely passing. Having to navigate the accounting and division of your assets without a will may cause strife among even the closest family members. Whether you visit an attorney to discuss your estate plan or download a fill-in-the-blank form online, getting your affairs in order may be one of the greatest gifts you could give to your loved ones.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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Sources https://wallethub.com/credit-card-calculator https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/06/us/politics/biden-student-loan-repayment-extension.html https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey/2017-survey/