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Five financial New Year's resolutions to follow

Losing weight seems to be the New Year's resolution that gets the most attention, but according to a recent news report, close to half of all New Year's resolutions involve improving finances.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who plans to make a New Year's resolution involving your finances, consider these ideas from the personal finance website WalletHub. 

Get up to speed. Take a good, hard look at your finances so that you understand exactly where you stand. You should make note of your assets, debts, monthly cash flow and statuses of all financial accounts.

Make a budget. Although it sounds basic, planning out a budget for the new year can help you meet your financial goals. It should list all of your incurring expenses from most to least important, WalletHub suggested, then compare your expenses list to your monthly income.

Set up automatic payments. Although you always want to keep an eye on the charges that are coming out of your account, setting up automatic payments can help you to avoid the fees and credit damage associated with late payments.

Start building a savings account. Before paying down debts, WalletHub advises setting aside a little money each paycheck to build an emergency savings fund that could tide you over for six months.

Begin to tackle debt. WalletHub advises to first tackle the debt with the highest interest balances while making minimum payments on the other debts. You may also consider working with a reputable debt negotiation service in your area.

If you stick with these New Year's resolutions in 2015, chances are that you will exit the year in a better place financially than you entered it. Happy New Year!

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