Saving and Budgeting in 2012

Manage Your Credit If you're like the rest of the world, you have made some New Year's resolutions: maybe to lose weight, get a better job or just save more money. With today's economy, saving money seems to be a popular resolution this year.

Saving in the New Year

If you are ready to get on track and start saving more money, here are some simple, but effective ways to start 2012 on the right foot:

1. Make a plan - When we talk about financial planning, we don't mean you should go out and hire a financial advisor, but instead start simple and work your way up. For instance, if you don't have one, create a budget and stick to it.

Set financial goals for you and your family for this year and determine how you will achieve them. For instance, if you're looking to put more into your savings, consider putting that money in first before you pay any bills - then see what you have left and follow your plan.

Not only is this a good idea for saving money, it could help you prepare for emergencies and even help protect your credit scores.

2. Cook More - Although many families love to dine out in order to have foods they enjoy and to save the hassle of cooking, frequent eating out can be a road to less money and sometimes ill health. For better health for your family and your savings account, consider cooking more foods at home and practice freezing leftovers for more read-to-go lunches and meals.

On average, one trip to the grocery store will give you more savings and food for a week than going to your favorite restaurant for lunch or dinner.

3. Stick to an allowance - As a kid, you may have had an allowance and depending on if you did all of your chores, you would get more or less money. When you're looking at saving this year, put yourself and your family on a similar allowance.

Be practical and allow yourself some money for discretionary spending - if you don't, you may become tired of feeling like you're going without for so long.

4. Set and stick to a common goal - Saving money sometimes requires sacrifices and could prove difficult for some families. Before you begin saving, set a big goal and work towards it.

For instance, if you want a new big screen TV or your first home, make that your goal and remind all family members that this goal is why saving is important.

5. Savings and credit scores - Did you know how you save can impact your credit score too? It's true. For instance, if you don't have savings, you could rely on other means for emergency purchases, such as credit cards or loans. This tactic increases your risk of making late payments, going over your credit limit, or having too much new debt, all of which could negatively affect your credit scores.

Instead, stick to a savings plan and keep your credit scores in good standing.

Don't be a New Year resolution breaker. Instead, go into 2012 with a new outlook and remember to keep in mind these simple but effective savings techniques to keep more money in your bank account while keeping reputable credit scores.

Don't just say you're going to stick with a New Year's resolution to start saving more money - put it on paper and get started!


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