Say goodbye to the colourful parades, parties and fireworks festivities. Now that the holiday season has come to an end, the start of a new year is a perfect time to get a better grip on your savings habits.
Fortunately, as far as New Year’s resolutions go, making the decision to save and spend wisely is a lot easier than shedding those few extra pounds. Here’s some motivation to reshape your money habits in 2012.
With holiday bills slowly making their way into your mailbox, now’s the time to reexamine your spending habits and make cuts where you can. Day-to-day living expenses, such as groceries, clothing and transportation, can significantly impact your debt load. Not to mention the high cost of entertainment.
Creating a household budget is an excellent way to get a handle on your expenses and better manage your costs. Within no time, you’ll discover where you’re spending your hard-earned dollars and places where you can scrimp and save.
Save a little money every month
You’ll be amazed by how much money you can accumulate simply by putting away a few extra dollars a month. A pre-authorized savings plan — where a little cash is automatically put aside every month – is an easy, habit-forming way to save. Before you know it, you’ll have a rainy day fund for unexpected household and family expenses.
Become a smarter shopper
You don’t need a degree in economics to make the most of your money the next time you go shopping. Here are a few simple tips:
- Comparison shop. You’ll never know if an item is on sale elsewhere unless you hop around from store to store.
- Buy for quality – not quantity. Spending a few extra dollars today could save you a whole bunch in the long run.
- Scour your local newspaper for coupons and promotions.
- Before you open your wallet, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”
Use credit wisely
Using credit wisely can help you achieve your financial goals. However, credit abuses can negatively impact your ability to purchase a car or take out a mortgage. To establish healthy credit habits, always pay your credit card balance in full and on time every month. And avoid drawing cash on your credit cards. By following a few hard and fast rules, you’ll not only build a solid credit history but also avoid high interest charges.