Financial New Year’s Resolutions
In 2017, about one-third of Americans made “money resolutions” for the new year. While some of these goals may have been as small as packing lunch more often and eating out less, or as big as buying a home, saving a few dollars here and there is always on everyone’s mind. New Year’s resolutions can be daunting, but these six money resolutions are easy, attainable, and might even burn a few calories!
- Buy less coffee. Yes, you just read it! Instead of simply trying to “cut down” or “buy less,” make it quantifiable. If you grab Starbucks five times a week, cut it down to once or twice a week as a treat. If your coffee is $2.50 each time, you’ve gone from spending $12.50 per week to spending just $2.50! If you’re looking at monthly totals, this would be about $40 in savings.
- Walk more. This is where burning calories comes in. If your favorite bakery or shop is just a mile from your home, try walking or even riding your bike there instead of driving. Not only is this good for your health, but all of those small trips to the store add up to big savings on gas.
- Up your savings by $100-300 (budget depending). Try saving more money per paycheck for a three-month period at the beginning of this year and see how your budget adjusts. If all goes well, keep this higher savings amount going for the whole year. It is also important to ensure you are putting as much money as possible into your retirement accounts.
- Resolve to only use a reusable water bottle. Eliminate bottled water from your budget. This is the same principle as buying less coffee. Your selzer water might only cost $2, so it doesn’t seem like much at the point of purchase. But those little expenses add up to big savings opportunities.
- Make a plan to pay off credit card debt. The plan, of course, will depend on how much debt you have. Set a timeframe to pay this off for the best results. For example, give yourself four months and see if you can push yourself to pay off the debt. The timeframe will also provide you with the amount you need to pay each month.
- Take care of your health (including your teeth and eyes). This goal is a year-long one, as opposed to something you only need to think about for a month or two. While you may think you are saving money by not having a yearly teeth cleaning, if you finally go to the dentist and need several cavities filled, you can be looking at paying upwards of $1,000. Also, be sure to take advantage of your preventive care services. While copays might apply, visiting your doctor and dentist at least once a year can ensure you aren’t paying for an issue that could have been avoided.