Personal finance New Year resolutions
Happy New Year! It’s time for new year resolutions for the year 2013. Instead of general resolutions, let’s focus on your personal finances. Take the time to research each of these personal finance categories and determine what you can do to improve them over the next 12 months.
1. Pay down debt
One of your first personal finance New Year’s resolutions should be to reduce your debt this year, especially your credit card debt. Go beyond the minimum payments and focus on getting your accounts paid off as soon as possible.
2. Create a budget
Don’t just keep track of your budget in your head -- it won’t work or last. Discuss with your spouse and come up with a budget for the entire year. Budget will help you stay disciplined, especially since it causes you to think mindfully about your money decisions. There are many great tools out there such Walletwatcher.com, which make the budgeting process easy.
3. Spend less
It sounds simple but spending less is not that easy to implement. But you can start by cutting down your trips to the convenience store and eliminate impulse buying by writing down what to buy beforehand.
4. Save more
Save before you spend, that’s the key. Do not plan to save after you spend because chances are you will have none left. Experts recommend that you should set aside an emergency fund totaling at least 6 months of your expenses. Stop depending on your credit cards to cover emergency expenses.
5. Optimize your EPF fund
Look for opportunities to maximize the return of your EPF (Employees Provident Fund). Consider investing your Account 2 fund in unit trusts or other EPF’s Appointed Fund Management Institutions. Many unit trust funds offer better return than EPF. You can start planning and learning the procedures from now by visiting EPF Members' Savings Investment Withdrawal page.
6. Educate yourself
Not having proper education on finance doesn’t excuse you from taking responsibility on your personal finances. Take the time to educate yourself in all things personal finance. Simply visit your library or personal finance websites and start reading.
These are eight items that I’m working on in 2013, what are your personal finance New Year’s resolutions?