Regardless of what life stage you are in, financial health should be at the top of your resolution list for 2019. According to Fidelity Investments, nearly one-third of Americans plan to make money resolutions for the New Year. Here are 5 money goals to consider:

Make a dent in your debt.

According to a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, the average student loan debt is $27,975. This might seem like an impossible hurdle to overcome, especially if you’re making the minimum payments on any outstanding loans and credit cards. There are strategies that you can use to speed up the process. For example by increasing your payments, even by a little, you can target the principal amount owed, decreasing the interest due and your total amount of debt.

Plan for early retirement.

The truth is the earlier you start putting money away and investing in your retirement, the better off you will be. Thanks to compound interest, your retirement savings have the potential to snowball overtime. According to the IRS, retirees need up to 80% of their annual income to retire comfortably. That means if your annual income is $100,000, you should aim for roughly $1.6 million (or $80,000 a year over the course of 20 years). If you have fully funded your retirement, you can feel secure that, no matter what care and assistance you may need later on in life, you will have the means to pay for it.

Have a well-stocked emergency fund.

Life can throw you some scary curve balls. Challenges like job loss, medical issues or property damage can leave you drowning in debt for years if you’re not prepared. That’s why it’s essential to build an emergency fund that can cover at least three to six months of living expenses. Even if you can save only a little each month, with consistent deposits, you can eventually grow a sizable protective cushion.

Boost your credit score.

So much depends on having good credit that it leaves many people asking, “how can I improve my score?” While there is no overnight fix, there are steps you can take this year to start improving it. One small thing you can do is sign up for Bill Pay through your bank and schedule recurring payments to all your accounts, so you never miss a due date again.

Advance towards a large purchase or investment.

Buying a home might be on your list of goals this year. If you don’t take the time to prepare and save, you can end up in a tough financial spot. On top of the down payment, be aware of often overlooked expenses, which can add up to as much as $10,000 or more. Take this year to develop a plan of attack and cushion in additional funds for things like closing costs, moving expenses and appraisal fees.

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