It’s a new year and that means you are late making your resolutions! Good thing you don’t have to wait for the New Year to make those. You can resolve to make positive changes to your life anytime you want. There is no date, no starting point. Now is just as good a time as any and that’s all that matters. So if you missed the “New Year” deadline and you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life in 2015 – and forever – we have a few you can make. There are a lot of things in life that you might actually try to improve, and we think improving your financial life is a great place to start. It’s a great way to make additional positive life changes. Once your financial life is in order, you can begin putting the rest of your life in order. It’s a very simple way to get your life in order, make your future more secure and live in peace. Here are 10 great New Year resolutions you can make that will help you get your financial life in order; and they’re all easy resolutions to keep.
Save 10% of Your Money
If you save 10% of everything you make, you can save a lot of money. For example, if you put this much into a savings account before you even see the money on your paycheck, you won’t miss it. Ask your employer if they have any savings plans in place for something like this, or if you can have 10% of your pay automatically placed into an account with your savings before you even see it. If you don’t have to make the transfer, it’s far easier for you to actually save the money and keep it out of your life. Saving is simple when you take the time to actually do it.
Think for 24 Hours
Never purchase anything that you want until you’ve taken the time to sleep on it. See a bag you love? Spend 24 hours deciding whether or not you really want the bag. Sometimes something is a great investment and you really should buy it. Other times you might decide you really don’t need the bag, you just want the bag. This is going to come to you once you’ve had time to think about it and you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of money by not making that purchase.
A great way to save money is to use only cash to make your purchases. By giving yourself cash for your monthly expenses, you’re not limiting yourself. However, you are making it possible to save more and spend less. Once your cash is gone, it’s gone. You don’t get anymore until the following month. If you have the cash on you, you can afford it. If you don’t have the cash on you, you cannot afford it. It’s that simple.
Pay Off Debt
Before you go on vacation or buy a new couch or do something fun with your money, pay off your debt. You are not financially free until you make the decision to pay off the debts you owe so that you truly do get to keep all the money you make. It’s a very simple way of looking at life, and we appreciate the fact that you can save money by paying off your debt. Consolidate or make a plan and stick to it. Commit to paying off your debt in the New Year.
Make a List
You spend so much money when you shop without a list. You have no idea what you need and what you don’t need. You spend money on things you don’t need, and you don’t spend money on things you do need. This means you’re going back to the store later and spending even more money, because who can actually go in and make just the purchase they need and nothing else? By making a comprehensive list, you can save a lot of money by only going to the store one time during the week or month – or however you choose to do it. And just stick to the list. If it is not on the list, don’t buy it.
This is simple; just make some goals and stick to them. Financial goals will make it possible for you to save more money and make more financially wise decisions. These can be any goals; get out of debt, buy a house, pay cash for a car; save for your kids’ college tuitions. It can be anything. Just make a goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day as a reminder that you are working hard for a good reason.
Save Your Change
If you’re going to use the cash method this year, you should save your change. It adds up very quickly. For example, you might end up with hundreds of extra dollars each year in change that you might not have realized you even had. Hundreds of dollars you can either add to your already substantial savings account or that you can spend on something fun for being so great about saving throughout the year. the choice is up to you.
Create a Simple Savings Plan
Do you know you can create simple savings plans throughout the year on top of your big one? You can do something like have your bank transfer change up to the nearest dollar from your account to a savings account every time you make a purchase. For example, if you go to the store and spend $87.64, you can ask that your bank round that up to $88 and transfer the change into savings. It doesn’t seem like much, but the savings are significant doing this.
Come Up with a Windfall Plan
Do you ever get cash during the year you were not expecting? Money from a project you worked on, a bonus or your birthday? If you do, make a plan for what you will do for this. Maybe these can be your holiday savings so that you have a little extra money to spend at Christmas. Maybe this could be your vacation savings so that you can have a good time traveling. You can do whatever you want with it, but definitely make a plan.
It’s not technically a way of saving, but it is a way of saving. When you give back to those in need, you are doing something that makes you feel really good. You don’t have to give money; you can give your time. By volunteering, you are not spending any of your money – so you are saving – and you are making yourself feel like a really good person in addition to genuinely helping others.
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