New Year’s Eve is a time for partying and reminiscing about the year gone by. On New Year’s Day, our thoughts turn to new year’s resolutions. We start thinking of changes that we can make that will make our lives better.

People make different kinds of resolutions depending on what issues they face in their lives. Some people resolve to lose weight or eat healthier foods. Others resolve to give up habits such as smoking or drinking. And some resolve to get their finances in order.

While getting our finances in order is something that many of us need to do, it’s a rather vague notion. If you don’t come up with some concrete ways to put it into action, your chances of succeeding are low. Here are some more specific resolutions that could help you save money and improve your financial outlook.

* Pay extra on your mortgage. While a mortgage is usually low-interest debt, that small percentage rate can really add up over the years. So if you can pay more than your regular monthly payment, you could save yourself a substantial amount of money in the long run. To accomplish this, you could add a little to your payment each month, or start paying a half payment every two weeks. This could add up to a full extra monthly payment each year.

* Pay off credit card debt. Credit cards usually come with high interest rates, and if you’re only paying the minimum each month, it could take you many years to get the balance paid in full. A resolution to stop using your credit cards and pay as much as possible on them each month could save you thousands of dollars.

* Work up a budget and stick to it. If you’ve never sat down and written out a monthly budget, the New Year is a great time to do so. Before you can improve your finances, you need to know exactly where your money goes each month. Then you can see where there is room for improvement and make adjustments that will leave you with more money to save or put toward debts.

* Conserve energy. Using less energy is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet. Resolving to turn off lights, TVs and computers when they’re not in use, unplug electronics at night and insulate your home could save you more money than you might think.

* Start clipping coupons. Groceries are a necessary monthly expense, but there’s no reason to pay more for them than you have to. Make a resolution to start using coupons and keep your eyes peeled for sales.

* Don’t buy anything new. We all have to make a purchase every now and then, but in most cases we don’t have to buy new to get what we need. A resolution to buy only used items can save you a great deal of money without making much of a difference in your life.

Finding ways to save money can make your life a lot less stressful. So this New Year, make some money-saving resolutions. If you stick with them, the next New Year might look a whole lot brighter.


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