Start 2013 on solid financial footing

New Year's resolutions are promises people make themselves at the start of the year that most jokingly say will never come to fruition. For those reviewing their financial plans to ensure ongoing economic health, this is a good time to get a good start. Rather than thinking of an improved financial plan as a resolution, investors should look to make these a recurring opportunity to meet with an advisor and make lifestyle changes.

Taking financial planning flippantly could result in economic hardship further down the line, so here are some tips to avoid making this a sidebar or diverting from intended financial goals.

1.) Make a plan. This isn't as simple as saying what should happen to money. Having a goal to go along with these ideas is essential, as it gives investors something the strive for and allows them to designate landmarks on the path to that success. US News wrote that staying organized is the key to winning any financial matter, so understanding every part of the process before diving in can be a critical detail that many miss.

2.) Set a budget. In line with making a plan, budgeting requires adjusting regular expenses to accommodate lifestyle changes. Since last year, many people have gotten or lost jobs, moved to new places, married or divorced, had children, invested in new portfolio options or made other alterations to last year's financial picture that require assessment of current outlook.

3.) Look for opportunities. Sometimes people may feel cut off from particular sources, assuming they have to do everything themselves or failing to look into certain options because they just assume they're out of reach. Fox San Antonio outlined how some regions are seeing financial assistance for those seeking financial investment advice to provide these services for free to those without access to them. Others should look at their current financial services provided by their investment institutions, as some banks and credit unions will offer these options for free as part of being members.

4.) Keep it simple. Local2, a news outlet in Ontario, Canada, recommended keeping the investment process easy to understand. While an accountant may have dynamic ideas about how to make a portfolio more aggressive, individuals need to comprehend what's happening with their money in order to plan and budget effectively. These kinds of options may not be best for some people, unless they can figure out how these opportunities specifically benefit them.

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