We all know that setting New Year’s resolutions for ourselves is easy, but committing to it and following through with those resolutions is a completely different story. And this is why we need to set realistic and achievable goals. I would like to give you some ideas for easy money-saving New Year’s resolutions that are set to reasonable levels:
1. Become debt-free
Let’s start with one of the most important ones. Whether this is a realistic and attainable goal, it really depends on your financial and debt situation. How heavily you are in debt, what type of debt you hold (credit, car loan, mortgage, etc.), your income level, and the interest rates pertaining to your debt can all tell how quickly or how successful you are in becoming debt free.
It is very often important to start with reducing credit card debt first because it will probably have the highest interest rate. Smaller debts amounts are also good spots to begin so that you build a little confidence by crossing them off your debt list, leaving you to focus on more problematic debt issues.
2. Find ways to generate side income
Increasing your income by earning extra money can be a wonderful financial resolution. In a suffering economy, the peace of mind and supplemental income that comes with a second job or side business can be a great buffer against the stresses of economic strife. Even an extra hundred dollars a month can be a great way to reach other financial goals like paying down debt, making an extra mortgage payment or starting an emergency fund.
3. Start a rainy day fund
If you don’t have one already, starting an emergency fund can be a good New Year’s resolution. You never know what tomorrow might hold when it comes to your finances, but with an emergency fund, you can face the unknown with a bit more confidence.
4. Invest in your retirement
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement – and these days it’s hard to count on anyone but yourself to do it. Setting aside money for the future, whether in an IRA, 401k, 403b or even just a savings or checking account can start you on the path to a financially secure retirement.
5. Learn to save
Saving money looks pretty easy, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Becoming accustomed to money-saving techniques can be a lengthy and involved process, especially for those of us who haven’t had much experience with it, but a fresh year will give you more energy and help you buckle down and become familiar with the saving process.
6. Build a budget
To start off the year with a budget is an easy resolution, which can be completed while watching television or soaking in the tub. Like creating a grocery list, I really, really, really, really hate the idea of budgeting., but since it’s New Year, I am feeling a little more positive, so it’s time to give it a try.
Good news for me: There’s an app — or two or three — for this.
One recommendation is MoneyCoach, an app that keeps all of your financial information in one spot and it will break down your spending by category and lets you set savings goals.