CPA Matt Bryant discussed some financial resolutions for 2017 Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.

“The first step should be to review last year’s finances,” said Bryant.  “Did you earn more?  Did you increase debt?  Did you save?  If you can’t answer these questions, consider finding a financial advisor to assist you.”

Bryant said make a comparison.  “You can compare what you actually did to the goals that you have,” he said.  “For example, if your goal is to save to purchase a house but you increased your credit card debt last year, that could point out that you would need to increase you earnings or decrease your spending in the current year to pay down the credit card debt and save for the house.”

If your expenses outweigh your income, Bryant said it’s time to create a budget.  “The first step to a budget is to calculate your monthly income,” he said.  “This includes wages, benefits, dividends and interest.  The next step is to calculate monthly expenses, which may include fixed items, like a rent or mortgage payment, and variable items, like groceries and gasoline.”

Bryant said sticking to a budget will allow you to save for any financial goals you may have.  Additionally, good financial habits usually result in a higher credit score.  Those with a higher credit score will be able to obtain better interest rates when they have debt, like a mortgage or car loan.
“Parents should have life insurance to assist their family financially if they pass at a young age,” Bryant added.  “Parents should also have a will in place to state who receives their possessions when they pass.”
Bryant said a trusted certified public accountant can be a great resource to help with budgeting, income taxes, and a long-term financial planning.
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here