Financial planning: Do this, not that, in 2014
With a new year now here, CNBC's personal finance reporter Sharon Epperson has some tips on how you can begin 2014 with some attainable and profitable financial goals.
In 2014 you can begin getting your financial matters in order, and you can do that one minute at a time, she says.
In one minute you can review your bank balances, pay a bill or two, even contact your bank, your credit card company or a lender for a quick check on an issue that may keep you up at night, Epperson says.
One minute a day will help you to stay in control of your finances by cutting up the big issues into bite-sized manageable tasks.
Epperson also suggests 2014 could be the year you face your financial fears.
For many their fear is not having enough money to get them through their retirement years. Experts suggest that you ease those fears by saving between 10 and 15 percent of your income for retirement.
To help expand your retirement funds, if your company offers a 401(k) plan sign up, make sure you're contributing and max out your contributions. Open an IRA account and contribute the max there too. Epperson says if you've changed jobs, make sure you don't lose sight of your 401(k) accounts with previous employers.
And for parents, remember don't rob your retirement savings for college, there won't be a scholarship or financial aid to bail you out.
In 2014, dump those bad financial habits.
Pair down your debt and get rid of those high-interest credit cards. If you've been thinking about downsizing, now may be the time to make that move. Interest rates remain near historic lows and real estate agents around the country report houses are moving again.
When you're investing for the long haul, forget about timing the markets. Remember you're better off making sure your portfolio is well-balanced and diversified than trying to pick the next hot stock.
—By CNBC's Gloria McDonough-Taub