One of the most increasingly popular New Year’s resolutions year after year is to become financially healthy, while at the same time money worries for many Americans have also steadily increased. Have you made a resolution to save money in the New Year? It is only February, but have you already started breaking it? If so we are going to list some steps to help you keep your resolution and stay on track to financial freedom.
With only one month behind us, you still have plenty time to become financially healthy in 2010. Here are some tips to help you stay with your resolution and see a change in your finances this year:
- Write down your goals. Putting your goals down in writing is a great starting point and also a good reminder of what you are trying to achieve and how to do so. By putting your goals on paper first, you will have a clear representation of what you must do to achieve these goals and are more likely to stick to it.
- Track your spending. Many people have no idea where they are spending all of their money. If you start by tracking where most of your money goes each month, you will be able to see where you can cut back. You may be surprised to see how much you actually spend and where you spend it! Keep track of your money and set a goal to not exceed each month.
- Cut your credit card debt. Resolve to pay off any amount that exceeds the minimum on time, every month. Also, leave the cards at home and start paying cash. If you cannot afford to pay for it now or pay it off on time, do not buy it.
- Save. Paying yourself first is very important. If you haven’t signed up for a 401(k) plan or if you are not maxing out your employer’s match into a 401(k), you are just leaving money on the table.
- Attack the miscellaneous column. Phone bills, cable bills, electricity bills – they can all be reduced! In every budget there are items that can be cut or at least trimmed. Take a hard look at your “essentials” to see how crucial they really are. Cut back where you can.
- Redefine the way you shop. If you are an impulse shopper break the habit. Make a list before you go shopping and opt to only buy from the items you recorded on your list. Try not to just browse around picking up items as you see them. Look at the list and go straight for those items only.
Have any other tips? Post them below!