12 Financial Resolutions For The New Year

With the new year just around the corner it is time to start thinking about goals you want to put into place.  Whether you call them goals or resolutions, doesn’t matter.  What does count is the dedication you put into reaching them.  We have put together 12 Financial Resolutions For The New Year for you.  With one for each month of the year, you don’t have to stress about getting them all done right away.  These goals are set for you to incorporate one at a time into your financial life for optimum success.


(1) Create A Family Budget:  It is surprising how many families don’t even have a budget in place. Many people go month to month randomly paying bills, making purchases and spending money without knowing what their true budget is.  There are countless sites to help with budgeting, but the main focus is to have a spreadsheet of some kind that shows your total income, and the necessary outgoing expenses.  Include everything from utilities, mortgage and vehicle expenses to grocery, laundry and childcare expenses. 

(2) Eliminate 3 “Wants”:  While we may feel like the unlimited texting plan, cable TV or our morning trip to Starbucks are needs, they are in reality simply wants.  Your needs consist of a roof over your head, utilities, food and transportation.  Anything outside those boundaries is unnecessary.  Choose 3 wants and stop them this month.

(3) Stop Using Credit Cards:  This month put your credit cards away.  Pay for bills, food, and all expenses using the money you have on hand.  If you can’t pay for it that day, then do not buy it.  (That includes that huge clearance item you really want – even if the TV is 90% off, if you don’t have the cash in hand to buy it – don’t). 

(4) Go On A No Spending Hold: Outside of mandatory bills (utilities, rent, car, insurance & debt) don’t make ANY purchases this month.  That means eating from your pantry instead of going to the grocery store (plan ahead with produce, milk, etc. already on hand).  No clothes shopping. No snacks, treats or lunches out.  Put a hold on all spending outside the mandatory bills that must be maintained. 

(5) Check For Lower Insurance Rates:  We often find a great deal and don’t realize that things like age, good driving record, good health and older vehicles can give us a much lower rate down the road. Make this a month to check for lower insurance rates on your home, rental, life insurance, health insurance as well as vehicle insurance.

(6) Check Your Credit Score:  Every year you are allowed one free credit check.  Make sure to get not just your credit score, but your entire credit report with this.  Go through this credit report and look for any outstanding debt you belief shouldn’t belong.  Check your score to see if it is in line with what you expect, and if not evaluate what needs to be done to repair the damages.

(7) Start A Savings Account:  Even if you are only able to put $5 a month into savings, it is time to open that savings account.  If you have your paycheck direct deposited, ask your employer to designate a small amount to be automatically put into your savings account each pay period.  Start with $5-$10 and gradually work your way up to $100 a month or more. 

(8) Shop Thrifty For Back To School:  Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on new clothing and school supplies, watch sales and buy second hand.  If your kids haven’t fluctuated much in size, this is a great time to upgrade their existing closet with a few changes, embellishments or new pieces.  It isn’t necessary to buy an all new wardrobe every year.  Watch for back to school ads and match coupons to create the best deals on school supplies.  Better yet, buy extra afterwards when clearance happens to put away for next year.

(9) Check Into Retirement & Education Savings Accounts:  If your employer already puts money into a 401k for you, look at your options and see how much you can afford to match.  Increasing your retirement savings account is a wise decision to make.  You can also look at this point into special education savings accounts to help fund your kids college tuitions in the future.

(10) Start Planning For Holiday Gifts Today:  With just a few months away, you still have time to make or buy gifts at a much lower rate.  While there are special event days closer to the holidays with great prices, now is the time to get serious about your holiday budget.  Look back at your family budget and savings to see what you can afford to spend this year.  Do not drain your savings for Christmas gifts. Instead designate no more than 20% of savings toward gifts this year.  Work on finding good deals on new and second hand items, or begin crafting handmade things to give away.

(11) Use Natural Heat:  If you have a fireplace this is the time to really buckle down and take advantage of a much less expensive heating source.  Take a trek into the local woods, or ask friends to help out with free or low cost firewoods for your stoves.   Wear extra layers and add blankets to your beds and keep heat on a lower setting at night for even more savings.

(12) Check Into Debt Settlements:  If you have large credit card debt, there may be occasions where settling the account at a lower rate is a good option.  Things to consider are the fact that the difference between what was owed and what you settle for can be considered income on your taxes for that year. You may also have a ding on your credit report for it being “settled” at a lower rate.  Also, the amount of money you have on hand to settle with is a consideration.  With end of year bonuses and holiday gifts coming around this is often a great time to consider this.

No matter what your financial goals are for the new year, these financial resolutions for the new year are a great place to begin.  From little to big changes in your finances and budget, these items can help you reach your ultimate financial freedom goals.

One Reply to “12 Financial Resolutions For The New Year #NewYear”

  1. Rachel, I am loving your resolutions for this year. The cable want would be a tough one for me to break! For years I did Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo (access from a friend) and Amazon Prime Video but then I made the switch back to cable. It would be tough to say goodbye to my beloved DVR but I know that with so many cheap streaming options available, it really does make sense to cut the cable cord. Eek!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *