Four New Year's Resolutions You Can't Afford Not to Keep, According to Financial Advisor Higgins

Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:08am EST

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SAN RAMON, Calif.,  Dec. 26, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Financial expert  Michelle
Perry Higgins  says that when it comes to personal finance, we can make  New
Year's  resolutions that actually stick. "The problem with keeping them is that
it's easy to fall back into familiar patterns," she says. "Finance is the
lifeblood of the household, so I advise strategies that I know my clients can
easily achieve."

Ms. Higgins shares her top four  New Year's  resolutions that she believes
nearly everyone can accomplish.

1Become a Smarter Shopper. "Before you go to the supermarket or the big-box
store, make a list of what you need and only buy those things," Ms. Higgins
says. By sticking to your list, she says you can avoid purchasing things that
waste money. "You'll be amazed how much you'll save." She also says to be wary
of certain coupon offers. "It's only a bargain if you already use the item in
the coupon."2Start a Rainy Day Fund. Ms. Higgins has a simple solution for
putting money aside for unforeseen circumstances. "Most banks have the ability
to take a fixed percentage of your direct deposit and allocate that to a savings
account. You probably won't miss a 5% deduction, but it will pile up quickly."
She recommends that the account not be linked to your regular checking account
and that you do not get an ATM card issued. "It will grow faster if you don't
have easy access to it," she says.3Contribute to a Retirement Savings Plan.If
you're not already enrolled in some type of retirement plan, Ms. Higgins
strongly advises you do so. "You may be missing out on matching funds from your
employer," she says. "That's like leaving money on the table. Find out how much
your company will match if you contribute to your retirement saving plan, such
as a 401(k) plan." She advises saving at least the percentage that your employer
matches.4Enhance Your Financial Knowledge. According to Ms. Higgins, taking a
few minutes each day to read the financial section of the newspaper could change
your money outlook for the better. "A little exposure to the financial world can
yield big dividends," she says. With the wealth of information available on the
Internet, she says that the task is even easier. "The better understanding you
have about the financial world, the more control you will have over improving
your own outcomes."

Ms. Higgins says that you can't get where you want to be if you don't know where
you're going.  "It's important to sit down at least twice a year to review your
goals and measure how far you have come."  Most importantly, she cautions to not
be overwhelmed by your finances. "Take baby steps to move in the right
direction."

Michelle Perry Higgins  is a financial planner and principal of California
Financial Advisors in  San Ramon, California. Ms. Higgins specializes in wealth
management, and has built a successful practice advising executive professionals
into retirement. Her passion for financial management has helped hundreds of
individuals better understand investing and financial planning. She was featured
as a 2012 Five Star Wealth Manager Award winner by Diablo Magazine, and was also
ranked in the Top 25 Women RIAs 2012, by WealthManagement.com. For more
information please visit  www.calfinad.com.

Maloon, Powers, Pitre & Higgins, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor.
Securities offered through Financial Telesis Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC).

Reg Carter, Media Relations
(916) 563-7122 (office)
(916) 821-8955 (mobile)  
rcarter@cartersartain.com

SOURCE   Michelle Perry Higgins
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