How Will Your New Year's Resolutions Change Your Financial Future?

This article originally published in West Orlando News Online.

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2010 many people’s top priority is to enjoy time with their family and prepare for various New Year celebrations.   Let’s take a look at some of the financial issues of 2010.

 Foreclosures continued to rise as more wage earners faced layoffs and cut backs on hours at their jobs.

Mortgage companies and loan servicing companies offered fewer affordable loan modifications to homeowners in order to protect their investors.

The banking industry made many changes to credit cards interest rates that would keep consumers in debt even longer. This was to help offset the millions of dollars that would be lost now that their customers were given the right to opt out of overdraft fees on their checking accounts.

 Gasoline prices rose once again to over $3.00 per gallon.

 The cost of one month’s worth of groceries for a family of four costs about one week’s salary or more for people making $8.00 per hour. Central Florida employment is fueled by service industry workers (theme parks/attractions, hotel/resort workers, taxi drivers, etc.)

 Taking charge of your financial situation is not as hard as most people believe.  Let’s start with an emergency fund.  Set up a separate account to put away at least $25.00-$50.00 per month.  Did you know that the average amount most people get back in their Federal Income Tax Refund is between $2,000.00-$5,000.00? That means that most employees over pay their income taxes every year!  If you were to just take one-half of your next income tax refund and put that in the same account, your family would have a fast-start to having cash on hand for those emergency repairs or financial issues without having to use credit cards. It also can be used to start your own investment or retirement account where you have complete control of your money.

 Another great way to get more money in your paycheck is to make changes on your W-4 Form at your job.  The Internal Revenue Service (www.irs.gov) says that you can make withholding changes as your life’s circumstances change.  If you got married or divorced, the birth or adoption of a child, death of someone you are financially responsible for within your household, change of head of household status, etc..  By making a few adjustments on your W-4 Form, you may be able to have between $200.00-$400.00 more per month in your paycheck.  So instead of giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan of taxes you over paid, you can use this money to improve your family’s life right now and for the future.  Note: Make sure you have enough taxes withheld so that you do not owe any taxes.  The purpose of these changes is not to over pay thousands of dollars, which your family could use today.

Almost every family in this country is facing some type of financial challenge every single day. We have stated many times in our articles that financial education is a major component to empowering our communities. Two of the most successful businessmen in this country, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, believe that “you cannot solve money problems with money.  You can only solve money problems with financial education.”  Both of these men were so passionate on the importance of financial education they wrote a book together in 2006 called “Why We Want You To Be Rich.”

But we believe that one of the best resources for family finances is the Bible, which has hundreds of scriptures on finances. Here are just a few to think about that tell us to pass wealth to our children, prepare for unforeseen situations with an emergency fund and if at all possible not to get into debt.

Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”

Proverbs 1:5   “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.”

 Ecclesiastes 11:2  “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.”

Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

If not now, when? When will you and your family start to make changes for your financial future?  If someone could show you how to begin your journey to living a more prosperous life in 2011, would you do it?   We would like to extend the gift of a FREE Financial Overview Consultation to the readers of West Orange News Online.

Call 407-615-4066 and leave your name and the best method to contact you (phone number or E-mail address) to take advantage of this limited offer (December 27, 2010 – January 31, 2011.)

Our mission is to empower our community one family at a time with the knowledge to live a better quality of life in 2011 and beyond.  Wishing your family a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year!

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