Now is the time to wave goodbye to last year, remembering all of the wonderful memories we made and learning from any mistakes we may have made throughout the year. Like many others, you may have created your New Year’s Resolutions to make this year even better than last year.
Most of the time, whether you realize it or not, your New Year’s Resolution is correlated with your finances.
Here are the top 8 New Year’s Resolutions, how they can help your finances, and what you can do to save while sticking to them.
How to Save Money on New Year’s Resolutions
- Get in shape.
Especially after putting on a few extra pounds from Thanksgiving and all of those irresistible holiday treats, it is probably the most common resolution to get healthier, eat better, lose weight, and exercise more. Getting in better health is a great way to save on doctor bills, medicine, and could lower your health insurance premium. Plus, you’ll feel better which is priceless. But before you sign up for a pricey gym membership and go out and buy all the expensive diet books, keep in mind there are plenty of free and inexpensive ways to get healthy. Work exercise into your daily schedule, eat healthy fruits and vegetables that are in season, get more sleep, drink more water, and learn what you should be eating.
- Get organized.
Getting organized makes everyday life easier to manage and far less stressful. From your closet to your finances, organizing lets you be aware of exactly what you have, keep better tabs on things, and can ultimately save you money. As far as finances, getting organized is imperative. When the bills come in the mail, don’t just throw them aside. Check out 8 Easy Ways to Organize and Simplify Your Bills to create a plan on how you will handle your bills coming in. Will you pay your bills all at once or when they come in? You can sign up for automated bill pay to avoid late fees, but always make sure you have sufficient funds in your account. Calculate what you are earning every month and what you are spending to create an efficient budget to help you organize where your money is going. Getting organized in your closets, pantry, and so on will help you realize how much stuff you actually have and avoid buying new items. While you’re cleaning, put aside items you may be able to sell at a second hand store, at a garage sale, online, and so on to make extra cash. And of course, if you can’t sell it, donate it to those who may need it more.
- Get out of debt.
This resolution is a little more obvious on how it saves you money and how it is tied to your finances. There are many reasons to get out of debt, but first and foremost, it will save you money. Every month when you’re making that credit card payment, student loan payment, and so on, a portion of that money is just going to interest that is constantly accruing.
- Quit smoking.
Besides adding years to your life, improving your health, making you feel physically better, and stopping your clothes, home, car, and everything else from smelling like smoke, quitting smoking will be extremely beneficial to your finances. If a pack of cigarettes cost you $6 and you buy a pack per day, you will end up saving $2,191 at the end of one year. Use the American Cancer Society’s Smoking Cost Calculator to see how much you will save and how much smoking has already cost you. In addition to the cost of cigarettes, you will also be able to save money on future doctor bills, medicine, and other issues that commonly come along with smoking. You may even be able to get a better health insurance premium for quitting smoking.
- Get a better job.
A better job can make you feel more fulfilled and happier day to day, and if it pays better, it can clearly improve your financial situation. Before you start your job search, be sure to update and improve your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. Don’t quit your job before having a new one lined up. When considering how much you’ll earn from a job, consider the entire package. What is the benefits package? Sometimes a job may pay less up front but have a 401K plan and health insurance policy that makes up for it. How much will it cost to commute?
- Save more money.
This resolution is the most direct to your finances. There are many ways to start saving money. Before you make any purchase, ask yourself if you really need this. For bigger items, do your research on where you can find the best price. Try to balance and cut back on things you don’t need. The best way to save money is to work it into the budget so you are automatically saving every month.
- Take better care of the environment.
This is my favorite resolution on the list because it goes outside of the box of thinking about yourself. And it can also save you money. Reducing your carbon footprint means buying items used instead of new. Reuse what you have instead of simply throwing it away and buying a new item. Try to reuse what you have in a new way. Shop at second hand stores and thrift stores for used items.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
Spending more time with the people you love and care about will put everything into perspective for you. It can make you realize that material items aren’t the key to happiness, and instead it is the simple act of being around people who make you happy and are enjoyable to be around. And getting together with friends doesn’t mean breaking the bank to have fun. There are many ways you can save money while entertaining and still have a great time.
What is your New Year’s Resolution this year? Is it connected to your finances somehow? What do you want to do differently this year with your finances?