AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

December 21, 2018

Improve Financial Health in New Year with Simple Steps

OZARK, Mo. — According to Jim Spencer, field specialist in agriculture business with University of Missouri Extension, financial resolutions are easier to keep if no drastic lifestyle changes made.

"To achieve success, select a few attainable financial goals and begin now by having money automatically taken from your paycheck or checking account to achieve your financial goals," said Spencer.

For example, here are a few financial resolutions Spencer suggests considering.

Increase your retirement plan contributions. "If your salary goes up, increase your contributions to your retirement fund or investment. Since the money is taken out before it reaches your check, you won't miss your increased payments," said Spencer.

Contribute to an IRA. A person can put up to $4,000 into a Traditional or Roth IRA or up to $5,000 if over the age of 50. Spencer recommends dividing the payments into 12 equal payments and then having it taken automatically from a checking or savings account.

Increase savings for emergency needs. "Try to build an emergency fund to cover three to six months living expenses or unexpected financial needs. By building an emergency fund you will increase your chances of reaching your financial goals," said Spencer.

Increase your current investment portfolio. "Review your investment holdings annually and make sure your investments are still on track. Consider dollar cost averaging to maximize your investments by paying the same amount each month to a mutual fund or investment," said Spencer.

"Planned savings is the key to long term financial success," said Spencer.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians to improve lives, communities and economies by providing relevant, responsive and reliable educational solutions. MU Extension programs are open to all. More information on this topic is available online at

Source: Jim Spencer, (417) 581-3558

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