Revise your budget
Creating a budget is a great way to keep spending on track and meet your savings goals for the new year. If you don't have one, you're not alone.
If you do use a budget, adjust it annually to account for any changes, such as health insurance, home insurance or income increases.
Compare your various expenses (morning lattes included) to your monthly income. If you discover you have excess income, consider meeting with a financial professional to determine the best way to put that money to work.
Review retirement savings
Review your IRA, 401(k) and other retirement plan contributions. Are you saving enough? Can you save more?
Aim to contribute at least 15% of your paycheck to your retirement funds. If that sounds like a stretch, save 10%, or as much as you can.
If you're age 50 or older, take advantage of the "catch-up" contribution. This advantage allows you to contribute up to $7,000 for 2019 to Traditional and Roth IRAs ($6,500 for 2018, contributions can be made up until April 15, 2019).
Those age 50 and over can contribute a total of $25,000 annually to their 401(k)s. The government raised the contribution limit from $18,500 to $19,000 in 2019, and folks age 50 and up can add a $6,000 catch-up contribution.
As their target retirement date nears, most investors allocate less toward stocks and a higher percentage to lower-risk vehicles such as bonds. Talk to a financial advisor to determine whether your portfolio contains the optimum mix of stocks and bonds for your age and goals.
Make a debt-free plan
The average credit card debt, per cardholder, came to $5,422 in 2017, according to Creditcards.com. With rates hovering close to 17%, that's a lot of money wasted on interest payments.
Can you set goals for 2019 to reduce credit card spending and pay down debt? You'll save hundreds to thousands of dollars annually — money you can invest and watch grow.
Review insurance policies
During your annual financial checkup, assess whether you have the right amount of insurance for your life stage.
If you've accumulated considerable assets since purchasing homeowner's insurance, you may want to discuss an upgrade with your insurance agent or broker.
If your children have graduated college or you've paid off your mortgage, you may need less life insurance. If you just had a second child, you may need more.
It's not easy these days to find better health insurance rates, but it's worth the time to review your employer-sponsored plans, individual plans or Medicare Advantage plans before the open enrollment period ends. You may find equal or better coverage at a lower rate, giving you that much more to save — or invest in your skinny vanilla latte fix.