Posted on Thursday 31 January 2008
The start of the new year is the perfect time to start a new savings plan and make sure you have your financial house in order.
- Take the time to determine whether you’re sufficiently insured – health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners/renters insurance. Consider increasing your deductibles in order to lower your premiums.
- If you haven’t done so already, start contributing to a 401(k) or IRA.
- Find ways to save money around the house – install programmable thermostats, add weatherstripping around doors and windows, utilize or install ceiling fans, install a water heater blanket and use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- If you haven’t done so in the last six months, get credit reports from all three credit agencies. (You can do so at www.annualcreditreport.com) Check for errors or accounts that don’t belong to you.
- Tally up how much money you spent on holiday gifts and work to save that amount over the course of the year so that you don’t go into debt or bust your budget next Christmas. Many banks and credit unions offer ‘Christmas club’ accounts.
- Last but not least, remember to give yourself some fun money. Saving money can be a lot like dieting. If you restrict yourself too much, you’ll be tempted to splurge and undo all your hard work.