Five Fiscally Responsible New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on December 31, 2016

  1. Create a new budget. A new year calls for a new budget. Rolling over an existing budget might be easy, but making changes now is easier than dealing with debt in the future. Have you moved, switched insurance, or added a new family member (child or pet) in the last year? A pay increase or bonus might leave you feeling carefree, but using that as an excuse to splurge can quickly destroy your old budget. Update your budget (or if you don’t have one, start one) with help from these budgeting websites or apps.
  2. Ditch credit card dependency. If you’ve already got your budget under control, then putting the credit cards away shouldn’t be too hard. We don’t usually budget cash for impulse buys, so without cash in hand we often turn to the credit card quick fix for items we want but don’t need or can’t currently afford. The easiest way to eliminate this debt inviting thinking is by leaving your credit card at home. Removing the temptation is one way to break free from credit card dependency.
  3. Improve your credit score. Don’t let your credit score surprise you. A bad score can keep you from getting the best interest rates, force you to pay deposits for utilities, or even cost you a job. Check your score, and if it’s below 750 make a commitment to improve your score in the New Year. Check out these tips for how to beef up your credit score.
  4. Cut spending on [insert budget category here]. This year make a vow to lower your grocery bill, entertainment bill, or clothing bill. Using coupons (not just cutting them out) and comparison shopping can save a lot more money than you’d think. Search a number of different websites or newspapers for the best deals available instead of buying something the first time you see it. Pricegrabber.com even does the comparison shopping for you. Even small changes like attending the cheaper daytime matinee instead of the pricey Friday night movie can add up to big savings.
  5. Grow your savings. Cutting spending is a good goal, but a better goal is to grow the money you’ve saved. For example, that $3.50 you saved saying no to the office Starbucks run once a week is good start, but why not take that $3.50 and turn it into nearly $1,000 after just five years. By investing those saved costs in a savings account you can actually profit from your good behavior.

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