1) Set up direct deposit. If you don’t have your paychecks automatically deposited into your bank account, get that set up right away. Just by directly depositing the money, it will help you prevent impulse spending and it will help ensure your money doesn’t get lost. Even better, have a portion of your checking account get automatically transferred to a savings account each month and don’t touch it.
2) Write up a will. Most folks don’t enjoy making plans for after death, but writing up even the simplest of wills can help ensure that any money you do have squirreled away will go to the right people in the way you intend it to. In addition, if you have kids, you can ensure that the individuals you feel would be the best parents wind up obtaining custody if something happens to you.
3) Re-evaluate your non-essential expenses. Go through a month’s worth of expenses and see if any can be eliminated without affecting your lifestyle. For instance, do you pay for cable TV but don’t watch it much? Eliminate it. Do you pay for unlimited text messages but don’t text much? Change to a pay-per-text plan. Do you buy books when you could check them out of the library? Stop buying and start borrowing.
4) Do your research. It never hurts to educate yourself about finances. Read a book or two that can explain the definitions of some common financial terms, or provide some answers to questions you might have had. These are fun and helpful: “The Millionaire Next Door” and “Personal Finance for Dummies”.
We wish you a happy, healthy, and financially prosperous 2013!
-Allison @ Sage Personal Finance