Can you believe it’s 2012? Another wonderful year is behind us and a new one just beginning – with all it’s possibilities of fresh starts, clean slates, and kept resolutions. As part of the New Year’s Eve tv hoopla (which I caught some of after enjoying a delicious dinner at home with my husband) Ryan Seacrest counted down the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2012 ending with #1, drumroll….Save Money!
Given the current economic conditions it’s no surprise to see this is a top priority for many of us, and it’s great to start a new year feeling inspired to achieve some financial goals. If you want to get serious about being able to keep a resolution to “save money” consider making the goal something clearly defined with specific steps outlined to make it happen.
For example, you might aspire to save $3000 for an emergency fund, $10,000 for a down payment on a house, or max out your ROTH IRA contribution this year. Divide the sum into 12 and carefully look at your budget to see how you can set aside that amount each month. If your goal is to cut down on unnecessary spending give yourself a set amount for extras such as lunches out, coffee, shopping, entertainment, etc., and when it’s gone it’s gone. (Two easy ways to keep track are to keep an index card in your wallet where you subtract the amount of any purchases from your total, or to keep the amount in cash, and when the cash is finished so is your spending for the month.)
What is your financial resolution for the new year? How did you ring in 2012?