First Fidelity Bank offers New Year’s financial tips

TULSA, Okla. – As the New Year begins, First Fidelity Bank is offering financial tips to individuals, families and businesses to build savings, reduce debt and plan for the future.

“The New Year is a great time for individuals and businesses to evaluate their finances to see where they can make improvements,” said Joey Snyder, First Fidelity Bank’s Tulsa market president. “It makes perfect sense for Oklahomans to add improving their financial health to their list of New Year’s resolutions.”

The top five New Year’s financial tips for individuals include:

Build a monthly family budget that starts from net pay, instead of gross pay. The budget should automatically deduct monthly bills, such as mortgage/rent, water, electric and automobile, as well as estimated monthly costs such as gasoline, food and haircuts.

Tackle the lowest credit bills first. Paying off the least expensive bills will quickly reduce the number of entities to which money is owed.

Build reserves. Once debt has been paid off, families should save the equivalent of at least three months’ salary to plan for emergencies such as health care-related costs or loss of a job.

Use money left over from the holidays to purchase a session with a financial advisor. Advisors provide customized financial roadmaps with specific goals in mind.

Purchase an investment such as a savings bond, stock with a safe yield or a mutual fund.

The top five New Year’s financial tips for businesses include:

Review the company’s cash flow. Collect money owed as quickly as possible, pay money owed as late as possible without incurring interest and earn interest on cash.

Review the business’ sales and marketing plans. Look at what’s working and what’s not. Decide which product and services will be the most profitable in 2011.

Review the company’s finances. Look at where the company is making and losing money and whether the budget is being followed.

Become close friends with your accountant. An accountant can be a business’ closest ally and the first line of communication when things go off track. If the business does not have one, ask peers in the business community for recommendations.

Prepare for growth. Growth is a good problem if it’s manageable. Make sure your company is prepared for growth by reviewing your sales and supply chain logistics, as well as staffing needs.

“Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, we think financial New Year’s resolutions are as important as any other on your list,” Snyder said. “Removing debt from your life and planning for the future is a great way to start the year.”

Updated 01-04-2011

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