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The practice of New Year’s Resolutions goes all the way to Ancient Rome. Where we look at the past, examine our life and seek to make ourselves better for the New Year. These resolutions can include improving one’s health, getting rid of a bad habit, or re-prioritizing what’s important in our lives.
Typically, there are a few money-related resolutions that are popular: start budgeting, manage debt and save more money. However, there are many other money resolutions you should consider:
Clean Up Your Credit Reports
Sometimes mistakes can happen with your credit report. Someone made an error when applying a credit card payment. You were confused with another person. A Social Security Number was read incorrectly by a lender. Inaccurate information on your credit report can stop you from getting the credit you deserve. It’s important to contact the credit bureaus and dispute these credit mistakes.
Get Out of Debt
It’s not enough to just manage your debts, start a plan to get out of debt. That means making a list of all your debts, their interest rates, and minimum payments. Try to eliminate your highest interest rate payments first and then work your way down. Don’t exclude your secured debts, such as mortgage and car payments. Even as you pay down your debt, don’t reduce what you’ve set aside to pay off your debts. The more you put towards principal, the faster you’ll get out of debt.
Get Rid of the “Little Extras”
Sit down and figure out where your money is getting wasted. Then make a plan to eliminate that unnecessary expense. For example, my money waster was the morning latte on the way into work. At $3.86 a cup, I was spending $1,003.60 a year on lattes. So I bought a coffee machine and starting making my own lattes in the morning. The money from that little extra went towards my emergency fund.
Reduce Financial Stress
USA.gov lists reducing overall stress and work-related stress as popular New Year’s Resolutions. However with the recent economic turmoil and a slow recovery, financial stress is a serious issue that’s going to plague many Americans this year. There are many ways to manage your financial stress. Keep your problems in perspective, and work towards improving your finances. Get support from your family and friends. Exercise or start a low cost hobby to reduce stress.
Increase Your Financial Literacy
Knowledge is power. The more you know about credit, debt and money, the better you can manage your personal finances. If you’re successfully managing your debt, saving money and budgeting your finances, consider branching out into learning more about investing or building wealth. Don’t depend on others to manage your money for you. Take the time to increase your financial literacy.
Improving your financial health can improve other aspects of your life. Take the time to clean up your financial mistakes of the past and start planning for a better future. Make 2010 a good year to remember.
About Kathryn Katz
Kathryn Katz is a working mom, internet marketer and professional copywriter. Kathryn is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor and works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services.