12 Goals to Financial Empowerment in the New Year

Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

We can officially say "the most wonderful time of the year" has come and gone. The holidays are over and we're kicking off the start of a brand new year. I am easily overwhelmed by New Year's resolutions. Are you? I love the thought of starting anew - I am after all a military wife and change is my middle name - but I do not like setting myself up for failure. Let's face it, even the statistics show that 40 to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year and almost 30 percent of those have given up after two weeks. I really do not feel like becoming another statistic. So I've taken a different approach this year, especially in the finance department - empowerment.


I have chosen twelve financial goals for our family. Instead of tackling it all at one time I thought it would be easier for us to tackle one realistic goal per month. I may not be a genius when it is all over but I will feel a whole lot more "in the know" and to me that means empowerment and control. Feel free to use my list or create your own. USAA has the tools right here on their site to do the research and get started.


What does your list look like?


  1. Get financially naked - where do you stand? What do you owe? What do you have?
  2. Learn to read an LES.
  3. Set a realistic budget - do your research on your bills - are you paying too much? Spend time making sure you're getting the best deal possible.
  4. Understand your benefits (Tricare, Thrift Savings Plan, SGLI, military retirement, GI Bill, etc.).
  5. Know your family's future financial "needs" and determine your future financial "wants".
  6. Start saving for something - a down payment on a car, retirement, savings acct for emergencies, college, holiday fund, vacation, etc.).
  7. Know and understand your credit score.
  8. Learn about investments.
  9. Understand & learn about protecting your investments (house, car, valuables).
  10. Understand/learn about life insurance.
  11. Develop a plan to teach your children about managing money.
  12. Understand taxes and your payment/refund.