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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You.
While I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, I do think that there are times in our lives that we need to make a change and this requires adequate planning and thought on our part.
If you’re looking at bumping up your retirement savings, then you sit down, figure out how much you will need, decide on wise investments, and then start putting money in those investments on a monthly basis, right?
You came up with resolutions – financial resolutions.
With 2023 beginning, I wanted to take the time to think through a few financial changes that you may want to consider for the upcoming year.
Can you sell a vehicle?
If you have an additional vehicle just sitting around, that is an asset that could easily be liquidated (particularly in today’s used vehicle market) for an extra chunk of cash that could be applied to a debt or used to invest.
In addition, if you have property taxes and insurance that you are paying for a vehicle that you don’t really use that much, you could easily be spending around a grand a year just to let that car sit in your driveway.
Could fixing up that vehicle and getting it ready for sale be a financial resolution for the new year?
Can you drive less?
The price of gas is sky-high at the moment, and now that the national oil reserve has been burned through, I’m of the opinion that it’s only going to continue to increase. Because of this, you’re going to end up putting more money into your tank than you did a few years ago.
With the upcoming year, is there a way that you can deliberately set about to drive less? We’ve talked a bit before about the importance of squishing all your errands together into a single trip if possible, but are there other ways that you can cut down on your driving?
This is something you may want to give some honest thought to.
Can you pay off one of your debts?
This is an awesome goal that you should aspire to. Setting goals for your debts is one of the best ways to reach them. If you settle for only paying the minimum due, not only are you going to pay an exorbitant amount of money in interest, but you’re going to be chained for years.
Is there a way that you can really hammer out paying off that credit card bill, that car, or those student loans? At the very least, can you set a goal date, even if it’s years in the future?
Can you pay more toward some of the debts that you may have?
This goes hand in hand with the above. You may not be able to pay off any of your debts this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to diminish the debts that you have now as much as is possible. Perhaps looking at debt and saying, “I want to have this debt diminished 30% by the end of next year,” is something to think about.
With that type of goal, you’ll then be able to calculate how much additional money you need to set aside per month for that particular debt.
Can you start using the envelope system?
I think this is a huge one, and though you can start this at any time, the beginning of the year is a great time to really buckle down financially and to start working through the envelope system with you and your family. (I think that using actual envelopes is a much better alternative than the digital ones as well.)
Can you set aside one day a month for couponing?
I know a lot of people who save a lot of money by couponing. It’s not even one full day a month that has to be spent here. Shoot, just spend an hour a month. Pick the first Sunday of each month to spend an hour looking around for a few coupons online.
You’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money per year when you start finding coupons for what it is that you’re buying.
Financial changes are something we should all think about.
It’s getting harder for people to buy gas, electricity, meat, and just food in general. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the things that it should cause you to think about is just what you can do to cope. For many, I think taking a hard look at your expenses and income and considering the changes that can be made is worth the time.
What are your thoughts here, though? Are there other financial changes that you would add to this list? Are you personally making any? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions that apply to finances? Let us know in the comment section.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.