3 Areas to Consider When Making Financial New Year’s Resolutions

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

With the current year rapidly drawing to a close, thoughts turn to the new year and to the sense of renewal we feel and demonstrate by making New Year’s Resolutions. Many folks take this opportunity to begin new habits and quit bad ones. The dawn of a new year may be a prudent time for you to make some changes to improve your financial circumstances.

Three areas in which you can resolve to consider as you begin the new year are:

1. Resolve to care for your health:

  • Make appointments for your yearly medical checkups and screenings
  • Visit your dentist twice every year
  • Floss and brush your teeth regularly
  • Eat healthy
  • Take appropriate vitamins and supplements
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit unhealthy habits like smoking and overindulging in alcohol or sweets

Each of these actions ultimately help you save money because you’ll be healthier overall, which will help reduce your healthcare costs. After all, dental floss, a new toothbrush and toothpaste cost far less than a root canal. Healthy food is more nutritious and cheaper than convenience food. Cigarettes and alcohol are not only unhealthy but expensive while the cost of vitamins and supplements are an investment in better overall health.

2. Resolve to de-clutter:

Evaluate and clean out your living environment. Chances are you have little idea of what you really have. You may be living among items you don’t remember having; or items that could be re-purposed rather than buying new. Once are aware of what you have, categorize your “extra” items into 3 categories:

  • items to keep (making sure you have a clear-cut reason)
  • items to sell
  • items to donate

To sell – At your earliest opportunity, sell the items at a garage sale, on eBay or Craigslist or through a classified ad. Just liquidate them so they’re not sitting around creating clutter. Selling them can give you a few extra dollars to spend on things you need – or to save.

To donate – Find a charity as soon as possible. You’ll appreciate a less cluttered environment for a large part of the new year and you’ll enjoy a tax write-off (be sure to get a receipt from the charity for the items you donate).

To keep – Resist the temptation to stick them back in a closet to become future clutter. Perhaps you need to buy craft supplies to create a scrapbook to turn all that memorabilia into something precious. Perhaps you need to take a class to learn how to turn those old sheets into curtains. Whatever you need to get or do – take action so the clutter you saved gets transformed into something that is of real value to you.

3. Resolve to take advantage of opportunities to spend less and save more:

  • Start using coupons
  • Make a yearly budget
  • Use a shopping list
  • Use a Flexible Spending Account if it’s available to you
  • Start or ramp up a savings plan
  • Pay up debt
  • Analyze your regular bills for potential savings
  • Dine out less often
  • Pay with cash or check rather than using credit whenever possible
  • Insulate your home
  • Service your appliances for optimal performance

These actions will ensure that you spend as wisely as possible and make the most of available opportunities to save.

A new year represents a brand new opportunity to make changes for the betterment of your financial situation. Even though the economy is still struggling, start fresh at the New Year to make the most of your resources in 2012.

How have you resolved to save more and spend less in the new year?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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