Do You Have a Financial Plan for the New Year? 

What now? Bills are coming in and you are shocked, shocked, to see just how much you spent. What can you do to get the bills paid and to have a strategy for next year? Here are some helpful tips.Credit increases spending- When using a credit card folks may spend 12-18% more than using cash. Some report that credit card use increases spending by 20%. That doesn’t account for the extra money that interest adds to the cost of that gift so lovingly purchased.Paying down debt- Pay more than minimum, Find money in some everyday ‘luxuries,’ use any extra money from overtime or a tax returnWhat’s the plan for 2011- First HAVE a strategy, a plan. The strategy includes several components. First is a budget. The budget could mean the amount you will spend for presents. But it also could be very inclusive dinner at your house with 40 relatives, Christmas cards, maybe even special shopping for holiday outfits. You could use the last few years spending as a guide. You may need to cut it back to perhaps more reasonable amounts if you have lacked a bit of self-control. Now SAVE for the spending. You could also shop very early. Many items, tools, house goods, toys, are available all year so if you have a coupon or there is a special sale, but the item early. Of course you have made a list! Simplify your giving. You can’t give everything you’d like to for everyone you know. You can choose names, only give gifts to kids, you can bake or give the gift of babysitting. If you see lists or controlling spending as a punishment instead of the freeing, empowering thing that I think it is, then you will be always chased by money controlling you, and your past indulgences controlling your future. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – [email protected]com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.