Happy New Year everyone! I know most of you are in the process of coming up with (and hopefully sticking to) your resolutions for 2013. Common resolutions always involve exercise and dieting. I know I’m planning to exercise more and have registered for a 10K in March to force myself to stick with it. But it’s also important to make 2013 the year for financial responsibility. Over the next few weeks, we’ll come up with a few way financial resolutions to improve our financial outlook in 2013.
1. Make a budget and stick to it.
Spending more than you bring in is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to not only set up a budget for the year, but to also start planning micro-budgets for major holidays and vacations. Practical Money Skills offers several specialized budget calculators to keep you from getting in over your head. Remember the importance of saving and resolve to save more this year than you did last year.
2. Trim expenses.
Many people have gotten out of the habit of watching their spending. A few relatively painless ways to save hundreds – or thousands – of dollars a year include:
- Regularly balance your checking account to avoid bounced check and overdraft charges. Or set up mobile alerts to warn you if you are in danger of overdrafting.
- Reduce energy bills by turning down the thermostat, weatherproofing your home or apartment, turning off “energy vampire” appliances when not in use and buying energy-efficient appliances.
- Cut back on eating out and expensive lattes and pack a lunch for class or work.
If I can stick with these goals, I know you can. Check back next week to get some tips on building resolutions for credit card use and check out Practical Money Skills for Life for more information on budgeting and saving.by JohnH