35 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Finances

The new year is just a few short days away. It’s a good time to reflect on last year’s successes and failures, and to make plans for a prosperous new year. If you need some ideas to get you started, I’ve provided a huge list of potential financial goals for you to set in the new year. Remember to keep your goals SMART so you can more easily keep your resolutions.

Save More

  • Open a separate savings account to stash an emergency fund and other savings.
    • Example savings goals: vacation, new laptop, real estate, graduate degree, etc.
  • Create separate, goal-based, savings accounts for specific goals and set up automatic contributions of x amount per month/week to each.
  • Increase your workplace retirement plan contributions to get the company match.
  • Increase your workplace retirement plan contribution percentage by 1%.
  • Increase your workplace retirement plan contributions to max it out in 2011 (if 401K: $16,500)
  • Open up a Roth IRA and start contributing to your retirement outside of your work plan.
  • Create an automatic contribution of x amount per month/week to your new Roth IRA.
  • Open up a self-employed retirement plan and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
  • Open up a 529 college savings plan and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
  • Open up a Flexible Savings Account or Health Savings Account (if eligible) and start contributing x amount per month/week automatically.
  • Open up a taxable brokerage account and start investing for financial freedom.

Reduce Debt

  • Create a master list of all your debts. Check your credit report to ensure you have everything.
  • Create a specific plan to systematically pay of your debts.
  • Start contributing x amount per month/week automatically to pay off your debts.
  • Call your creditors to ask about reducing your interest rates.
  • Consider using a 0% balance transfer credit card to help you pay off your debts faster.
  • Consider using a peer lending site to help you consolidate your debts and pay them off faster.

Spend More Wisely

  • Develop a zero-based budget to ensure that each of your dollars has a home.
  • Create a simple, cash-only budget for one or two trouble areas (i.e. dining, shopping).
  • Create an account with Mint.com to start tracking your spending more closely. Use their budgeting and goals tools.
  • Plan out your upcoming major purchases and set aside time to research the best prices and best time to buy.
  • Make a list each time you go to the grocery store.
  • Go through all of your bills and call the service providers to see if you can reduce your expenses.
  • Make a list of the things you really want to spend your hard earned money on. Then slash expenses everywhere else.
  • Open a reward checking account to earn cash back for your spending.
  • Apply for a cash back credit card to earn cash back on your spending.
  • Set up automatic bill payment on all your bills so that you don’t miss a payment.
  • Spend some money on a will and proper term life insurance.
  • Setup automatic contributions to your favorite charities.

Make More

  • Ask your employer for a raise.
  • Meet with a recruiter to start the search for a job, a higher paying job.
  • Get a part-time job on the nights or weekends.
  • Start freelancing.
  • Start a side-business and grow it using your nights and weekends.
  • Sell or give away x number of unused items per week/month from your home.

Got anymore ideas? Leave them in the comments below.

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Last Edited: March 8, 2014 @ 10:51 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.