More than 40 percent of Americans make New Yearâ€™s resolutions, but according to a January 2015 study by the University of Scranton, only eight percent of us actually keep them. While vague goals like losing weight or spending more time with your family can be difficult to achieve, these seven resolutions are refreshingly specific, require minimal effort, and can actually improve your financial situation.
Embrace the Coupon
Given the ubiquity of sites like Groupon, coupons and coupon codes have never been easier to come by. It only takes a little digging to find coupons for nearly everything you purchase â€“ food and clothing, health and beauty treatments, and even live entertainment.
Sign up for a Payroll Savings Program
If you donâ€™t have a 401(k) or other payroll savings program through your employer, apply for one immediately. Most employers contribute proportionately, and you wonâ€™t miss money you don’t ever see. Hereâ€™s another tip for boosting your savings: Open a specially-designated savings account, and make monthly deposits for your non-monthly bills (e.g., property taxes, insurance, or automobile maintenance and registration). Youâ€™ll be surprised how quickly it starts to add up.
Cancel Extended Warranties
Most electronics and appliance retailers like to push extended warranties on their customers at checkout â€“ especially if the purchased item is expensive. What they donâ€™t tell you, however, is that many manufacturerâ€™s warranties provide the exact same coverage for free. If you have several extended warranties on household electronics or appliances, you may want to consider canceling them.
Donâ€™t Be Afraid to Switch
While customer loyalty is nice in theory, switching companies often allows you to nab the best promotional rates. When you sign up with a service provider (like a cable company), you often get an amazing package with great prices. A year later, that same package can nearly double in price. By switching from one service provider to another in the same sector, you can save a lot of money. Sometimes merely threatening to switch is enough, as many companies will extend a special promotion to keep your business.
Eliminate Your Debt
Start the New Year right by getting rid of any debt that you may have. If your debt is particularly unwieldy, look into applying for a balance transfer credit card. Most will allow you to aggregate your debts at a zero-percent interest rate for up to 21 months. Once youâ€™re debt-free, always pay your bills on time to avoid expensive late fees.
If everyone in your family has a cell phone, is there really any need to keep paying for your landline? How much cable TV do you really watch? Perhaps a cheaper alternative, such as NetflixÂ or Hulu, would serve your home entertainment purposes just as well. Donâ€™t stick with what you’ve done in the past without good reason. Try getting creative and finding new places in your budget to save money.Â
Make Sure Your Insurance is Keeping up With You
Canâ€™t remember how long itâ€™s been since you purchased your life insurance policy? Thereâ€™s a good chance your coverage needs may have changed since then. The same goes for your automobile and homeowners insurance. A quick call to SelectQuote can confirm youâ€™re getting the right amount of coverage at the best price. For more information, click here or call 1-800-679-4418.