9 New Year’s Resolutions You CAN Keep

by Ron Haynes

snow covered rimMost New Year’s resolutions end in failure. News flash, huh? The key to making a New Year’s resolution work for you is to treat them like baby steps rather than huge leaps forward. After all, it’s no big deal to lose a couple of pounds, but losing 50 seems like an impossible task.

Similarly, you can tackle most financial resolutions much more easily by taking them in small chunks. Try these nine resolutions on for size:

1. Read ONE financial book

You don’t even have to buy one, just use the local library. There are probably dozens of great books there just waiting to be checked out. If you don’t see one you want, many libraries will order whatever you want to read. Just ask. I would recommend these:

2. List your debts

List every debt you owe with the interest rate and minimum payment. If you want to get out of debt, make a resolution to just get started by making a list and checking it twice. If you can, consider making double payments on your credit accounts. If you keep paying that same amount each month, never charging another penny and you’ll pay off your credit card in less than three years, regardless of the current balance.

3. Get on a budget

The easiest way to get on and stay on a budget is to find a smarter way to manage your money. For many families, that’s using the Mint.com system of budgeting. Take a tour of Mint.com and see if you’re as impressed as I am.

4. Monitor your mortgage

By planning to plan to pay just a little extra every month, you can pay the mortgage off early and save a fortune in interest. If your rate is floating, or if you have a home equity loan, consolidate now to a fixed-rate loan, if possible.

5. Play a money saving game

Check out 17 Sneaky Savings Strategies and resolve to implement just one. Once you do that, start another, then another, then another. Before you know it, you’ll be saving money left and right!

6. Develop an alternative income

There are all sorts of ways to make extra money and develop a side income. Lots of hobbies and interests can be developed cash streams with just a little effort. If you find a way to make just $1 in a new way, you have succeeded. You aren’t trying to replace your current income, just to make some extra money to invest or pay down debt. Most of the time starting is the hardest part, but then later expanding your earnings from this new income stream could potentially be quite easy.

7. Secure your identity

Identity theft has quickly become one of the top complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

Banks used to be robbed, primarily because that was where “the money was at,” but today, when your identity is for sale to he highest bidder,”the money” is in cyberspace. It’s easier and safer to steal someone’s identity, making off with a couple thousand bucks than to rob a bank. The result: you have to take actions to protect yourself. The credit freeze is one possibility, but it has some drawbacks, namely that it has to be turned on and off and back on again anytime you apply for credit. That can be a pain.

One thing that I personally use and have had great results with is TrueCredit’s 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring. I personally use this service and can wholeheartedly recommend it. It is worth the small monthly fee to have this peace of mind, particularly after the nightmare I went through with having my identity stolen.

8. Evaluate your insurance

Do you have disability insurance? Do you have health insurance? Do you have life insurance? Do you have enough? Do you think it’s too expensive? Check out InsureMe.com to get competitive rates and information on car, homeowners, health, and life insurance. If you haven’t gotten your insurance quoted in the last 24 months, you’re probably getting ripped off.

It doesn’t take but a few minutes and it could save you a LOT of cash.

Don’t pay more than you have to for insurance of ANY kind. Check out USInsurance.com today!

9. Update your estate plan

Review your documents and your will, keeping in mind that state laws DO apply — so if you’ve moved recently, be sure that your documents comply with your new state’s requirements.

[tags]insurance, personal finance, money, credit, credit cards, debt, investment, identity theft[/tags]

photo credit: bionicteaching

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 4 comments }

Daniel Massicotte

It’s really about making the mini-goals that lead up to the final one, enjoyable and fun to go through with. Breaking them down is really important.

Within a few weeks of starting my blog I had set a goal of 1000 visits per day. That seemed really big…and it was. The deadline was December 1, and I didn’t make it. But now, Dec 21 I’m at 200 visits/day and I feel like the 1000 impossible goal is tangible. It’s really the small steps that count though because to make it to 1000 I felt like my life was going to end.

Will I make it by Jan 1…if I don’t want to be with the family much during the vacation, yes. But that wouldn’t be making “the journey being the reward” since you have to enjoy what you are doing along the way to be able to justify in your mind the final goal that you want to see happen.

Keep up those daily blogs Ron, reading peoples’ blogs this month has been a tremendous encouragement and has kept me in contact with some of my core values that I tend to forget about when I’m blitzing the building of my site and writing away.

Abigail

I definitely agree that people need to think through their insurance. As someone who was disabled suddenly and early on, I can tell you disability insurance may save your hide.

Alas, I didn’t have it at the time (I was a student, plus in total denial about my limits for several years) and I was *lucky* to have my case take only 18 months start to finish. I was told just getting a hearing could take 18 months.

Also, I love the idea of paring back your new years resolutions overall. Many more might be accomplished if we were more realistic. Though I’d add that I really like Liz Pulliam Weston’s books, too. Deal with Your Debt is the best primer, I think.

LP

Thank you…great ideas…
It’s now come down to the final last few days of the year and many of us have squandered our last resolutions.
Well….I think I’ll pick up and start all over again! :-)

Maybe this year I’ll be better at it. At least I have this Wisdom Journal to give me some pointers…Thanks!

Bless you and yours and God Bless America!

Merry Christmas to all!

john comuto

This is one article that could be re-titled: how to get out of debt!

jc :)

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