Improve Your Finances in 2012

Your New Year’s Resolutions may have involved losing weight or eating better, but did you consider how you could improve your finances in 2012? We’ve put together a short list to get you on the path to a healthier financial life this year.

Get Organized: It’s surprising how many people become overwhelmed with their bills simply because they lack a method of handling them. Designate a place in your home to sort and pay bills. Place new bills in the appropriate location when they first arrive in the mail. Set up bill pay through your bank if you are more likely to pay bills with a mouse than a pen.

Comparison Shop: Even though it may take some time, pick up the phone or get online comparisons for common services like cell phones and insurance. You will be amazed at how much you can save if you look hard enough. Some companies will give you discounts for combining services or for professional memberships.

Set a Reasonable Budget: Your 2011 budget may have fallen flat on its face, but that’s no reason not to try it again. This year, plan a reasonable budget. Allow money for entertainment and eating out, for example. Most budgets fail because they are too strict. Design your budget around your actual expenditures while slowly shrink the budget in the areas where you want to decrease spending. If you’re eating out six days a week now, budget for five this month, four the next and so on, until you’ve reached your goal.

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