It’s almost the New Year and time for resolutions.

Are you trying to be healthier? Not just physically, but financially? Are you spending too much? Are you saving enough?  How do you manage and protect what you have?

By modifying some financial practices, you can improve your financial standing and stay safe.

#AARPRI

Here are some tips to improve your financial well-being this year.

Tip Number One

One of the most important steps is to create a formal budget and stick to it.  Creating a weekly or monthly budget will allow you to track your spending and adjust based on needs.  By properly monitoring your spending, you may find ways to cut back and transfer that money to savings.

AARP is here to help: Use the  AARP Financial Calculator to help you breakdown costs and identify areas where you can save more.

At the same time, it’s important to make sure that you are protected when it comes to your money.  You’ve worked too hard to fall victims to scammers and crooks. Here are some tips that can help you protect yourself.

Tip Number Two

Develop a list of all accounts and income sources.  This list should include account numbers, names, passwords and any other information.  You should store a copy in a secure place and give the list to a trusted family member or friend so that in case of a personal health change, your loved ones can help you access your money.

Tip Number One

Closely monitor all accounts regularly to make sure that automatic deposits (pensions, social security and annuities) are being made on time and correctly.  Mistakes can be made, and you don’t want to lose out on any money you are owed.  Also, if you use online banking and automated bill paying, you can check to make sure that important bills-such as for utilities, have been made.  It is also important to closely monitor your accounts for unusual payments or withdrawals to make sure that you are not a victim of fraud.

Tip Number Three

Using a password program is a smart way to prevent yourself from falling victim to being hacked, especially if you bank online.  A password protector or manager is an encrypted program that will generate, retrieve and keep track of passwords and financial numbers across all your accounts – from credit cards to pin numbers to online sites.  It will also give you a variety of secure passwords as people typically only use one password or similar ones for all their accounts.  With this program you will only have to remember one password that will unlock your password vault when you wish to sign on to a particular site.

This will go a long way to protecting your financial information from falling into the hands of cyber criminals.

“It’s incredibly important for people to pay strict attention to their finances, especially as they age.  AARP is here to help with a variety of tips and resources to help improve your financial standing,” said AARP State Director Kathleen Connell. “And there are free and discounted activities that they/we (CHANGE PER QUOTE) offer right here in your community.”