Here we go! 2024 is coming Massachusetts!  We found the Top 7 New Years Money Resolutions For Your WALLET.

It’s a time to re-evaluate the past year. Did we meet our goals?  Oh, wait, did we set goals? What goals did we keep? What financial goals did we not make?

Economy Forecast

With the Fed alluding that they may lower rates, it was welcome news to the stock market. With an election year ahead, Washington will do everything it can to make our financial life easier, until after November. How can we benefit from 2024?

NBC News reports:

The forecast among many economists for a recession in 2023 did not come to pass. Indeed, from a purely data-driven perspective, history may consider this year to be a good one, as low unemployment and rapidly declining inflation prevailed.

The message I am seeing for 2024, is proceed with caution. Inflation, while halted a bit, has not gone away. Rates are still at record highs. Consumer confidence, it is still well below the post-pandemic high recorded in the spring of 2021 says NBC. My brother runs a trucking business. He told me that this year was a very slow year. Add to that, no snow meant no ice melt to deliver. What about car sales? A friend that is a very successful and seasoned car salesman had to take a second job, because car sales are slow, thanks to high interest rates. Renting money is not affordable.

TOP 7 New Years Money Resolutions

Our pals at Wallethub are back with an in-depth report on how we can do a better job with our wallet in 2024!

Resolution season is a great time to make financial improvements, and 36% more Americans are planning to make finance-related New Year’s resolutions for 2024, compared to this year, according to a new WalletHub survey. For example, 26% of people making a financial resolution want to save money.

Below we will share the top 7. For more see Wallethub’s FULL report.

  • 1-Get a 5%+ Return on Your Cash

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    In recent years, the APYs on bank accounts weren’t high enough to really bother comparing. Now, after numerous rounds of Federal Reserve rate hikes, you can save a lot of money by strategically selecting your bank account. Now, the average online savings account has an APY around 3.75%, and you can get a 5%+ annual return from the best deposit accounts.

  • 2-Protect Your Identity

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    More than 1 million identity theft complaints are submitted to the Federal Trade Commission each year, and having your identity stolen can be extremely frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Some of the fraud that identity thieves commonly perpetrate will get flagged by free credit monitoring services, including unauthorized credit card and loan applications. But things like fraudulent bank account changes and payday loan applications would not.

    To better protect yourself, consider upgrading to an identity protection service. For example, WalletHub Premium provides bank account and alternative loan monitoring, plus dark web monitoring, identity theft insurance and other helpful features.

  • 3-Make A Realistic Budget-Stick To It

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    The fact that we’re on pace to end 2023 with over $1.2 trillion in credit c

    ard debt is a clear sign that we need to do a better job budgeting. The best way to make a budget is to gather your bills from the past few months and make a list of all your recurring expenses. Then rank them in order of importance, with true necessities such as housing, food and healthcare obviously taking the top spots. After that, you can simply cut from the bottom of your list until your take-home exceeds what you plan to spend.

    Finally, keep track of your monthly spending throughout the year to make sure you’re abiding by your budget. This will help you finetune the allocation of your funds, too.

  • 4-Explore Ways to Refinance High Interest Rates

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    Refinancing opportunities are most abundant when rates are falling, and we’re not there yet, but you might find opportunities to save if your credit score and income have gone up since you got your credit card or loan. For example, the best balance transfer credit cards can help you consolidate debt and pay it off with no interest for as long as 21 months. The best personal loans for debt consolidation give you even longer to pay off consolidated debt, but the APR won’t be quite as low.

    Both the best cards and the best loans require at least good credit for approval. You can check your credit score for free right here on WalletHub.

  • 5-Create An Emergency Fund

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    Millions of Americans do not have a rainy-day fund, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Like someone without insurance, people who lack an emergency fund are tempting fate, putting themselves at risk of financial catastrophe in the event of unexpected unemployment or major medical expenses. A lot of people found that out the hard way over the past couple years.

    So, building up some reserves should be one of the first orders of business for any financial makeover. We recommend ultimately building a fund with about 12 to 18 months’ take-home income. But it’s important to understand that won’t happen overnight. In other words, you don’t need to put the rest of your financial life on hold until your emergency fund is complete. Rather, chip away at it over time.

    Start with a goal to set aside two months’ pay so you’re better prepared for a significant downturn in the economy. According to a recent WalletHub survey, 54% of people say they’re not financially prepared for a recession. Once you have that safety net, you can add to it at your own pace.

  • 6-Repay 20% of Your Credit Card Debt

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    Americans owe way too much credit card debt: more than $10,000 per household. That debt is extremely expensive, too. Something eventually has to give. And you’d much rather that be your outstanding balance, paid down on your own terms, than your ability to afford monthly minimum payments and, in turn, your credit score. So it’s time to get serious about getting out of credit card debt.

    Some of the other steps mentioned here – including budgeting, automation and the Island Approach – will help in terms of reducing your future reliance on debt. But the problem of what to do about existing balances still remains. The answer for people with at least “good” credit is the combination of a 0% balance transfer credit card and a credit card calculator, which has the potential to help you save hundreds of dollars while getting out of debt months sooner than you would otherwise.

    But it’s probably best to start small. So we recommend making a plan to pay off 20% of what you owe over the course of 2024. That would amount to about $1,800 for the average household, requiring monthly payments of $150 with a card offering 0% on balance transfers for at least 12 months. You can use a credit card payoff calculator to crunch the numbers in your situation, and if you can afford higher payments, by all means make them. The sooner you can reach debt freedom, the better off your wallet will be.

  • 7-Use Different Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases & Debt

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    The Island Approach involves using different accounts to serve different financial needs, as if they are a chain of islands. The most basic example is using a rewards credit card for everyday purchases and a 0% APR card for balances that you’ll carry from month to month.

    Doing so enables you to get the best possible terms on each card, rather than settling for average terms on a single card. It will also help you reduce the cost of your debt, considering everyday purchases won’t be inflating your average daily balance. And if you ever incur interest on your everyday card, you’ll know you spent too much that month.

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