5 Tips for Setting 2017 Personal Finance Goals

The successes and milestones reached in 2016 are learning experiences that can help you, as you set some succinct, specific goals in 2017.

Once you list successes, flip the coin and think about areas where you may have come up short.


  • What could have gone better? 
  • Where are the areas for improvement? 
  • What held you back? 
  • What changes can you make? 
  • Is your savings where you wanted it? 
  • Were you too aggressive with your savings goals?
  • Should you try again with a more realistic amount?

Don’t beat yourself up on any shortcomings. Use them as learning experiences to improve your position in 2017. Consider trying something new if things didn’t go according to plan in 2016.

“If you promised yourself you would save receipts and forgot half way through the first week, maybe try an app,” said Katie Bossler, GreenPath financial wellness expert. “Or, if you have an app you never used, maybe try putting pen to paper and keeping a spending journal.”

Once you have your financial resolutions set, start thinking of the small things you can do right away.  “Maybe it means not getting that cup of coffee, or deciding against that online order,” said Bossler.  “Maybe it means deciding to cook something for dinner with food you already have, rather than eating out.”

By taking time to reflect and setting realistic goals, you might be on your way to reviewing a long list of financial successes on December 31, 2017!

GreenPath also has put together five ideas to consider in the New Year:

5 Quick Financial Resolutions for 2017

  1. Open a separate savings account to force yourself to build an emergency savings fund. Make it separate from your main financial institution, with no ATM card, so you will be forced to go into a branch to withdraw money.
  2. Educate yourself. Check out some books on personal finance or subscribe to a magazine or personal finance blog. GreenPath is offering a special webinar on January 11 at noon ET on “Prioritizing Your Debt in 2017″. To learn more or sign-up, log on to www.greenpath.org/calendar.
  3. Pull your credit score and report. A good way to start the year is to find out exactly where you stand financially. Download your credit report (one free each year from each of the three main reporting bureaus) at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  4. Plan ahead. Get in the habit each night of preparing for the next day: Packing lunches, prepping breakfast and dinner.  That way you will not be tempted to buy convenience food on the run, because you are rushed.
  5. Unsubscribe. Remove the temptation of impulse buying online by unsubscribing from retail email.  This can take some time, but, ultimately, you will save time and money by not being bombarded with emails “deals”, tempting you to buy.

GreenPath provides in-person credit counseling, financial education and debt management services in more than 60 locations in 18 states.  The company also offers licensed services by phone and Internet throughout the United States.  For more information about GreenPath, visit www.greenpath.org or call (866) 648-8122.

Keep up with GreenPath Financial Wellness online:  www.facebook.com/greenpathdebt and www.twitter.com/greenpath.

About GreenPath Financial Wellness
GreenPath Financial Wellness is a nationwide, non-profit financial counseling and education organization, empowering people to lead financially healthy lives since 1961.  Their financial experts partner with consumers to ease financial stress, manage debt, save for the future, make smart financial decisions, and achieve their financial goals.  Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, GreenPath operates about 60 branch offices in 17 states.  They also deliver licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone.  GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  The organization has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  For more information, visit www.greenpath.org.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/5-tips-for-setting-2017-personal-finance-goals-300383824.html

SOURCE GreenPath Financial Wellness

Related Links


States Sorted by Credit Card Debt Burden

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Sun Belt isn’t so bright for debtors: Florida, Texas, Georgia and New Mexico have four of the nation’s five highest credit card debt burdens, according to a new CreditCards.com analysis. Click here for more information:


The study compared the average credit card debt and the median income in each state. The southern states at the bottom of the list suffered more from low incomes than high debts. For example, Florida’s average credit card debt per bank cardholder ranks a respectable 18th among the 50 states, but its median income is 41st.

“It’s very hard to get out of debt if you’re already stretching every dollar to pay for food, housing and other essentials,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “If you’re in this position, consider a 0% balance transfer credit card – these interest-free periods last as long as 21 months. Another idea is to dedicate as much extra money as you can towards your credit card debt, certainly much more than the minimum that’s due each month.”

Making only minimum payments, it would take the typical Florida cardholder almost 13 years to retire the state’s average credit card debt of $5,603. And he/she would pay over $3,600 in interest. CreditCards.com recommends dedicating at least 15% of gross monthly income towards credit card debt. In that scenario, the typical Florida resident’s payoff time drops to just 18 months and costs $678 in interest.

Highest Credit Card Debt Burdens*
1. Alaska (20 months, $992 interest)
2. New Mexico (20 months, $743 interest)
3. Georgia (18 months, $716 interest)
4. Texas (18 months, $712 interest)
5. Florida (18 months, $678 interest)

Lowest Credit Card Debt Burdens
46. Wisconsin (14 months, $421 interest)
47. Massachusetts (13 months, $482 interest)
48. Minnesota (13 months, $458 interest)
49. Iowa (13 months, $379 interest)
50. North Dakota (12 months, $370 interest)

* CreditCards.com calculated these payoff times and interest charges using the average credit card debt per bank cardholder (according to Experian) and the median income per resident with earnings (courtesy of the U.S. Census) in each state. CreditCards.com assumed that 15% of gross monthly income would go towards credit card debt. For the average credit card interest rate, CreditCards.com used 15%, the average charged by 100 popular cards that it surveyed on December 7, 2016.

About CreditCards.com:

CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America’s leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2015, over 27 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.

For More Information:

Ted Rossman
Public Relations Director


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/states-sorted-by-credit-card-debt-burden-300382727.html

SOURCE CreditCards.com