1. Go through your subscriptions. Look at all of them — television, magazine, website, health clubs and otherwise. If you’re not using a subscription or no longer enjoy it, stop kidding yourself and cancel.
2. Reassess holiday gifts. Take the ones you no longer use and sell them online, or have a garage sale.
3. Plan ahead for frugal fun. Consider local hotspots you’ve never visited or attractions you’ve overlooked that are within driving distance.
4. Make saving a part of your weekly routine. Add an automatic deposit of $5 to $10 each week to build toward something special such as an emergency fund, anniversary gift or dream vacation.
5. Put your spare change to good use. Empty your pockets, drawers and jars to cash in your coins for something fun.
6. Check in with your credit report or financial accounts. Fail to do this, and you could overlook fraudulent charges or accounts you no longer need.
7. Face your financial fears. Maybe you still haven’t set up a will or trust, your financial statements are in a state of disarray, or you can’t keep track of your credit cards. Get organized and tackle these projects.
8. Help your dollar go further by sharing it. Whether donating money or time, remember to give.
9. Challenge a bad financial habit. We all have a few bad habits that nag at us- overspending when we shop online, ordering takeout too often, procrastinating on setting up that Roth IRA. If your habits seem to rule over your money, now is the time to change!
10. Tackle your taxes early. Get your tax documents and receipts together early, don’t wait until April when stress is high.
11. Commit yourself to learn. Put aside time to read at least one book (click here to see some of my faves) on personal finance, subscribing to a podcast, or brushing up on your financial know-how by recruiting a knowledgable friend to mentor you.
12. Learn to D.I.Y. for one expense you can’t live without. Invest in an at-home salon or brew your own coffee. Saving money in the new year isn’t about deprivation but creatively getting what you want.
13. Pick one big financial goal to powerhouse the new year. Personal finance shouldn’t be a chore- so what gets you most excited about your money in a fresh new year? Would you feel free without credit card debt or does saving for a house make you giddy? Whatever you choose, make sure that you have the excitement behind it to make the goal a reality.