New Year's Resolutions Can Protect Assets


New Year's resolutions can protect assetsIn addition to that new diet or gym membership, Americans may also want to take a new look at their finances and weatherproof their homes this year, which can save families across the country substantial amounts of money on heating or cooling bills in the long term.

Dr. James Roberts, professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at Baylor University, says focusing on four savings goals this year can provide a good start. These include establishing an emergency fund of $2,500; saving three to six months expenses; contributing to retirement accounts and opening a college savings fund.

The expert adds that limiting the use of credit cards would be a great New Year’s financial resolution for many Americans as those who use them regularly tend to spend more than they can afford.

"This involves creating an environment that makes it easier to not spend money, such as avoiding the malls, shopping without credit cards and only with cash, using a 24-hour cooling off period for big purchases and paying yourself first to help you attain the four savings goals," Roberts advises.

Improving home energy efficiency is another sure way to cut bills and improve the bottom line of many families in 2010, according to the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE).

The most basic steps include plugging air leaks, installing insulation appropriate for the location and replacing old windows with high-performance, Energy Star-labeled ones.

The ASE also reminds Americans to take advantage of a 30 percent tax credit of up to $1,500 that is available this year for specific energy efficiency home improvements, including insulation and sealing products, highly efficient furnaces, heat pumps and windows.

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