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Family Matters

Financial Goals for the New Year

December 14th, 2011

Most New Year's resolutions include money-saving goals, especially after the holiday season. Here are five resources to help your finances.

1. Spend Less: Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious; develop ways to curb your spending enthusiasm, like adopting Dave Ramsay's envelope system for everyday purchases.

2. Save More: Paying yourself before anyone else ensures consistent padding of your savings account. Consider direct depositing your paycheque into your savings account first. This forces you to transfer funds every time you want to spend money, and can reduce unnecessary purchases.

3. Budget, Budget, Budget: You'll never achieve your financial goals without a solid understanding of where your money goes. Create a budget itemizing monthly expenses (including payments to your savings account) using websites like Mint.com, and take control of your finances.

4. Never Pay Full Price: With a few exceptions, there's no reason to pay full price for anything these days. Scout eBay or other e-retailers for coveted items instead of pricey department stores.

5. Tackle Debt: By spending less and saving more, debt reduction strategies are easier to implement. If you're really struggling to keep your head above the financial waters, consider these "25 Ways to Make Quick Money" from DailyFinance.com.

6. Dine-in: Research shows that families spent over $200 per month in 2010 on food away from home. Imagine the dent you could put in your debt by brewing coffee at home and bringing a sack lunch to work.

7. Make Money From Your Money: If you haven't talked to a financial adviser, consider the New Year as your opportunity to do so. Selecting someone to manage your money is no small task, but it pays (literally) to do your research. Be sure your financial adviser candidates answer these questions satisfactorily before moving forward.

8. Plan Ahead: From buying gifts in advance of upcoming celebrations to paying for your child's college tuition, you can get ahead with a little planning. Pre-tax contributions to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) provides benefits to both you and your children, as your taxable income is reduced and your kids' collegiate future becomes less costly.

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more.

 

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