Do you find that your typical New Year’s resolutions quickly fizzle out? This year, make a resolution that is both realistic and good for your wallet. Set a goal of either saving $2005 by the end of year or paying down your debt by that much. This is a goal most people can meet and impacts your financial situation for years to come. To help keep this resolution, keep these tips in mind this year.
Become a Saver
Pay yourself first by asking your employer to directly deposit part of your paycheck into your savings account. Even better, increase your 401(k) deductions to help meet your goal. It is always easier to save money if it doesn’t hit your pocket first. To make saving a habit, save for something specific, like a vacation or for holiday shopping. You will be more inclined to sock that money away.
Reduce Your Spending
Little things can add up. Keep track of your expenses for a few weeks in order to see where your money goes. Pack your lunch, skip your morning latte, or organize a carpool. You may have an unused gym membership, unread magazine subscriptions, or a boat you never use. Eliminate the things in your life that cost you money, but bring you no benefit. Once you add up the savings, you’ll be surprised how much more quickly you can meet your goals.
Tackle Your Debt
If you haven’t done so already, transfer your credit card debt to a lower-interest card. Resolve to not add any more debt this year. Instead, look for ways to pay it down as quickly as possible. Eventually, you should be able to pay off your cards each month. Build up a small emergency fund to use instead of relying on your credit cards for those unexpected expenses. By not adding to your debt and paying it off during the year, you will end 2005 in much better shape than when it began.