(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Local experts advise spending wisely to meet new year's financial resolutions in 2019.
“Build out a nice road map that's going to get you to your long term goals and now, at the beginning of the year, is a great time to do it,” said Josh Royeton, a financial adviser for Edward Jones.
While you're writing things down take account of what's coming in and going out.
“Start with your net check and take away all the payments that you have to make and then if you've got some money left over, think what you’re going to do with that money,” said accountant and tax expert Jackie Watts.
Royeton said he advises using left over money to pay off debt. He said a common mistake is paying debt based off interest rates. The financial expert said there's a faster way to pay off debt.
“With any excess money, paying off whatever has the highest payment first is the best, that way you can use the snowball effect," he said.
Both Royeton and Watts said the easiest way to pay off debt is to stop growing it. Watts said one way to get on top of credit card debt is to get rid of the card.
“As of January 1, if you have a balance on a credit card stop using that credit card, cut it up,” said Watts.
Once you stow away or cut up your cards, experts want to remind you that that doesn't mean you should start spending cash instead. To prevent that temptation, Royeton advises people should put money in a place that can't be accessed easily.
“Make it so you have to make a phone call, or go somewhere so you can't just go online or just move it on an app on your phone, make it tough on yourself, that way the money is building up and you're not touching it,” he said.
The final tip is one many have heard before, "Don't live above your means."
“If you can’t afford it easily without a credit card, don't get it," Watts said. "If you get a raise don't spend it. That’s extra money that you can either pay down on your credit card bill with or add to your savings."