The new year is a good time for people to establish financial balance after credit card bills pour in from the holidays. This is a time to set new goals for financial freedom and moderation in spending.

The Wellness Councils of America share the following 10 Essential Steps to Financial Wellness:

1. Live beneath your means Living by this rule will allow you to reach your financial goals faster, and with a lot less stress.

2. Pay off your credit cards Credit cards are usually the most expensive form of debt. Commit yourself to always paying more than the minimum required on your credit card.

3. Pay yourself first By making yourself the first “creditor” paid, you’ll develop solid saving habits that will help you reach your long-term goals.

4. Save six months living expenses It’s critical to have a “rainy day” fund. For most people, six months of living expenses will provide an adequate cushion to weather most unexpected financial storms.

5. Make a will This is an essential step for all adults, especially those with dependents.

6. Seek wise counsel Don’t try to go it alone when making tough financial decisions, consider working with one or more professionals.

7. Fund company-sponsored savings plans to the maximum Through payroll deduction and often tax-deductible contributions, you can accumulate significant savings in company-sponsored plans.

8. Plan major expenditures If a house, new car, college education, or other large purchase is in your future, take the time to make a plan to reach your desired goal.

9. Educate yourself Read financial publications and consider taking a course on basic financial management or investing.

10. Review progress Every year, list the value of what you own and what you owe. The difference between the two numbers is your financial net worth and compare it each year.

Working with professionals in the financial industries who can review you financial situation with you and help you come up with a plan for 2013 is a perfect way to kick off the new year!

               Liberty Tax Service Omaha