11 smart ways to improve your finances in 2016–my first piece for Vox

I am running a few index-card pieces for Vox. The first one ran on New Year’s Day. It offers some useful New Year’s suggestions. In true web-marketing fashion, I will simply say Number 7 will amaze you…..

New Year’s is a useful time to consider large and small ways we can improve our lives. We can be more generous to the people around us and improve our physical and mental health. We can also take small steps to put our financial houses in order.

Of course, your overall finances depend on your income and prior wealth, and on big-ticket items such as your housing, student loans, and car. Still, a succession of smart decisions helps you stay on a methodical path. Most of us can save a little more, and a little smarter, than we currently do.

This stuff really isn’t rocket science. Yet financial planning is easy to screw up or avoid — either because it’s boring or because it’s intimidating. Few hard deadlines force you to pay attention, so it’s easy to put things off.

As you contemplate the financial hangover from the holiday season, this is a great time to align your everyday personal decisions with your long-term financial goals. Below are a few suggestions that may help in the coming year.

More here.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

One thought on “11 smart ways to improve your finances in 2016–my first piece for Vox”

  1. This is good advice.

    I think the first thing to explain is, "It's really not that complicated."

    At least with respect to investments there are a lot of people in the world who make a living by making it seem more complex than it is. That includes mutual fund managers and lots of brokers who act as advisors, "for free." I've seen some proposals they've made to friends of mine and to be blunt, they are thievery. This applies even to big-name financial firms.

    Stick to index funds and avoid intermediaries. Not only do they charge for nothing, their decisions are bd for your financial health.

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