If You Don’t Make These 5 Financial Resolutions, 2022 Could Be Worse Than 2021
2021 was bad — for a lot of reasons — and in addition to a global pandemic and political division, it also did a number on many Americans’ finances.
Yes, a lot of it was out of our control, like record unemployment and a stock-market roller coaster, but that doesn’t mean we can blame it all on a virus — we did it to ourselves, too. We filled lonely social voids with stacks of Amazon boxes and favored binging Netflix over tracking our credit scores.
So as the year comes to a close, it’s time to reckon with ourselves: What did we do that hurt our bank accounts? What didn’t we do that could have helped our savings more? Let’s set some financial resolutions for ourselves to make sure 2022 won’t be the same dumpster fire that 2021 lit in our own backyard.
1. Commit To Paying Off Your Credit Card Debt
While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $250,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 2.49% and terms from 6 to 144 months.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.
2. Make Sure You Don’t Leave Your Family a Huge Bill When You Die
You love your family. The last thing you’d want to do is leave them to foot a huge expensive bill after you die. Did you know it can cost $7,000 to $15,000 just to cover funeral costs? And that doesn’t include other final expenses, such as leftover credit card debt or medical bills. Yikes. Your loved ones shouldn’t be stuck paying thousands out of their own pockets to cover outstanding credit card debt, medical bills and memorial services.
If you’re between the ages of 50 and 85, there’s an answer for this: a final expense life insurance policy through a company called EverQuote. And it’s probably cheaper than you think — you can get $10,000 in coverage for as little as $26.08 per month.*
This process used to be a pain. But with EverQuote, you can get started in just a few minutes. They’ll show you all your options at once so you can pick the plan that’s right for you. Final expense policies range from $5,000 to $30,000, and you don’t even need a medical exam.
Click here to get started — then never worry about this again. Your family will thank you.
*Rate is for a 50-year-old non-smoking woman.
3. Make Sure Your Family is Protected In Case Tragedy Strikes
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? 2021 has taken this fear from the back of our minds and kept it front and center for months. Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever, especially if you suffered a financial hardship this year.
Here’s the thing: You should keep a healthy amount of savings in the bank, but if you want to give your family up to $1 million, use something called term life insurance.
We suggest a company like Bestow. Maybe you’ve considered this before, but thought it was only for rich or older people. But we’re hearing that people are getting it for as little as $16 a month.
You can take advantage of Bestow until you’re 54 years old, but the sooner you take care of this, the cheaper it could be.
You don’t even need to leave your house to get a free quote from Bestow — it takes minutes. Instead of leaving your family with what’s in your checking account and a bucket of worries, they’ll be able to afford the life you’ve always wanted for them.
4. Become a Better (And Smarter) Saver
It’s no doubt retail therapy has helped to fill a void in our lives this year. Seeing boxes show up on our doorstep with tie-dyed pajamas, gourmet bagels shipped cross-country and cases of wine has brought us a sometimes-daily moment of joy.
It’s this online splurging that has made a sizable dent in our savings accounts. Next year, let’s aim to be better about spending less and saving more.
You don’t have to put your money in the stock market to make it grow. Maybe you’re just looking for a place to safely stash it away — but still earn money. Sure, you could stick it under your mattress or in a safe, but smart savers know better.
Here’s their secret: By signing up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores, plus they give you up to 83 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.
To see how much you could earn, enter your email address here, link your bank account and add at least $10 to your account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
5. But Don’t Forget to Have a Little Fun
2021 was stressful. It was also a good reminder that we need to take some time for ourselves and just relax. Make it your last resolution for 2022 to have some fun — and what if you could make some extra money, too?
Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?
There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.
You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?
Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.
With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).
To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.
***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.