5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Financial Position in 2016

As you begin to think about your New Year’s Resolutions, finance experts say, try to focus on things you can do to improve your financial position in the coming year.
Analysts at The Motley Fool, a consumer savings and investment publication, suggest starting with these five moves:

Hike your FICO score – A high FICO score, the most commonly used credit scoring model, improves your credit worthiness and can save you thousands in interest dollars over the yearswallet2. Your FICO is determined based on your payment history (35 percent), amount owed relative to available credit (30 percent), length of credit history (15 percent), new credit opened (10percent), and type of credit used (10 percent). You will improve your score by paying on time, paying down debt, keeping existing accounts open and limiting your applications for new credit, and maintaining a mix of accounts, such as mortgage and active credit cards.

Plan sooner for tax season – Discuss with your accountant or financial planner strategies that can reduce your tax liability for the following year, from adjusting your withholding to boosting retirement savings to making more charitable donations.

Pare your expenses – Cost-saving strategies may include such tactics as moving to a smaller residence to cutting travel and entertainment spending, to simply purchasing less ‘stuff.’ Once you pare expenses, you can focus on saving and investing.

Pay off high interest debt – There are several strategies top help you do this more aggressively, from negotiating lower credit card interest rates to cutting expenses, selling things you don’t need, or taking on a second job. The trick is to use the savings or added income to pay down debt.Think about career change – It’s never too late to go back to school if that will help you embark on a better-paying career. It may not take a four-year degree. Look into low-cost junior college classes or adult school technical training classes.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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