With New Year just around the corner, personal and family finances should top the list of things you’re thinking of for the coming year. Here are 7 crucial points to think on:


1. Family Budget

Planning a budget is one of the main ways to analyse your monthly cash flow and discretionary income, which is the “leftover” money you have after taxes. Assessing what you spend it on and managing expenses will help you save and increase your discretionary income.


2. Review the cost of debt

Consumer debt and tax are unavoidable, but you can save on home-equity credit line. Being tax deductible, they serve as a lower-cost source of money than other loans. A controlled strategy will help reduce the cost of debt.


3. Increase retirement plan contributions

Contacting your HR officer or approaching your 401(k) planner will help increase the percentage of your income that goes into your retirement plan. Every small contribution made today will have a greater impact in the future.


4. Merge retirement accounts

With people shifting jobs regularly, it’s not surprising for someone to have more than one 401(k) plan accounts. Even though the consolidating of these accounts takes time, your 401(k) plan provider can help you move it along. Reducing the number of accounts will help you coordinate your assets and manage them effectively.


5. Risk analysis and asset allocation

Evaluating your portfolio is a task you can achieve yourself or with the help of a financial advisor. This will help ensure that it is kept structured as per your objectives, and to find out where it can be improved.


6. Beneficiary reviews

It is necessary to ensure that your retirement plans, annuities, and insurance policies reflect your wishes and involve the right beneficiaries as they precede over any legal document you make. Reviewing these documents regularly is the best way to ensure that all your assets are in order and will go to the right beneficiaries, should the need arise.


7. Review insurance adequacy

In two-earner families, it is important to ensure both parents’ incomes for securing your children’s future. Term life insurance is inexpensive and offers up to 10-12 times annual income in coverage.