5 Ways to Start Saving Money in the New Year

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your finances in order, these guidelines will help you get started.

In this economy—and especially during this time of year—many of us are facing our very own fiscal cliff. While we may not be able to raise revenue as easily as the federal government can, these five steps may help you reach solvency and put savings in the bank, financial planners say.

  1. Get organized. Put due dates for bills on an electronic calendar and you’ll get email reminders to avoid late fees. A good filing system will help when tax time rolls around and will be useful in the next step below.
  2. Get a budget. There’s a ton of free online resources for this, including mint.com and budgettracker.com. Some even track your bills.
  3. Get a debit card—and some scissors for your credit cards. Better yet, pay cash whenever possible. It’s a fact that most people spend more when using a credit card. And if you use a credit card, pay the full amount owed each month. Servicing that debt will only get you deeper into debt.
  4. Get a handle on your credit score. The first three steps will help with this. A higher credit score can help you get a better interest rate if you’re looking to lower your home mortgage by refinancing, or help you get lower credit rates in general.
  5. Get professional help. Nonprofits like Money Management International offer assistance at no charge. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University has helped many people become debt and financial-worry free. Ramsey’s service isn’t free, but you can get a one-week free trial to test whether it fits your needs.

Once you’re free of debt and ready to grow your savings, you can look to financial services companies for investment advice, such as Burns Financial Centre and Merrill Lynch. You can also turn to local banks like Third Federal Savings and Loan and KeyBank, insurers like State Farm and Allstate, and brokers (Edward Jones, for example).

Good luck!

J J. Jefferson January 25, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Debit Cards in place of credit cards make one THINK before swiping that card! One becomes more frugal this way. Do I really need this?
Sandra bright February 13, 2013 at 06:04 PM
I learned this from my dad if u don't have it u don't very have it you don't miss it pay yourself right from start I would cash my check and then get coins from 30 to 50 dallor pennies Nicole dine and put in piggy back can something out of roll and that how I got a car or u could take trip or put in a retirement plan good luck


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