Another year has passed. Which of your resolutions for 2011 did you keep? Pretty soon we’ll all be thinking about the things we want to do differently in 2012. Even if you don’t make a list of New Year’s resolutions, you can probably come up with a few things you want to get done in near future. If you are like me, there are a few goals that carry over from year to year: exercise more, eat better and reduce stress, to name a few.
Maybe it’s time to add some financial goals to the list and have something to be proud of by next year.
- Save More – If you are working, try to put 1% or 2% more of your income into savings or a retirement account. The easiest way to save on a regular basis is if you don’t have to think about it or you don’t see it happen. Also, do your best to establish an emergency fund because you never know when your car may need a costly repair or an appliance in your home will need to be replaced.
- Spend Less – Most everyday items have high, medium and low-cost alternatives. Be practical most of the time, but treat yourself once in a while.
- Give More – Helping others in need can be one of the most satisfying gifts of your time and/or money. Non-profit organizations and charities especially need your help in challenging economic times. You may even end-up with a tax benefit of your own!
A little bit of effort can go a long way in helping yourself and others. It also helps to think about where you want to be or what you want to accomplish by this time next year.
So rather than just cleaning up a bad habit or promising yourself you’ll start a good habit, lay out a plan and make it happen. You’ll be on your way to better financial shape if you can live within your means.