NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For 2014, consider making a New Year's resolution to improve your financial future.
"We suggest five quick tips to improve your financial future this New Year," said Don Civgin, president and chief executive officer of Allstate Financial. "A small investment of time can reap large rewards. On average, Americans surveyed by Allstate said they spend just under three hours a week managing their household finances, such as paying bills. This is about a quarter of the time they spend watching television (12 hours a week) or surfing the Internet (9.2 hours)."Based on the conversations Allstate agency owners and staff have with their customers, Civgin offered five tips to improve your financial future: 1. Read up. Personal finance websites, books and newspapers are among the sources of free information about financial preparedness. To help you understand how this information relates to your personal situation, financial professionals can provide guidance, help you set financial goals, and assist you with products and services to achieve those goals. You can find fee-only or commission-based financial advisors through referrals from family or friends, or turn to organizations such as the National Association of Personal Financial Planners ( www.napfa.org) or the Financial Planning Association ( www.fpanet.org). For information about specific products, such as life insurance, ask for a referral from professionals you currently deal with and trust – such as your auto/home insurance agent. 2. 'Exercise' your financial muscles. Anything worth achieving takes a bit of time and effort. If you're on a diet, you probably have a weight loss goal. If you're shopping for a home, you'd tour houses and make a mental list of "must have" features before purchasing. Money management is no different. It's helpful to set specific goals and a timetable to achieve them. Rather than trying to make progress on everything at once, prioritize your goals every year so you can focus on the two or three most important. 3. Reward yourself for a job well done. When you retire, it will be time to reap the benefits of your hard work. But a happy, well-funded retirement won't happen without preparation – and many people today retire earlier than expected and without adequate savings. If your retirement savings efforts are falling short, consider consulting with a financial professional who can review your current financial and insurance needs and recommend actions to help you reach your goals.