Personal Finance Resolutions for 2012

Another year has passed. Unfortunately while many people had lost their homes, jobs and money in the stock market during last year, it may seem almost hopeless to make any personal finance resolutions for 2012, or is it? There is hope, and with practical steps there are ways you can begin to immediately save money, and even invest in 2012.

Ways to save money during 2012

People are frantically searching for ways to protect and save their hard earned money this year like never before. Because of all the government bank bail-outs, banks no longer inspire people to invest. On the contrary, the current financial situation in America has inspired people to save money in 2012.

Credit Cards – One of the first personal financial resolutions for 2012 should be to get the lowest possible interest rates on any loans or credit cards you may have. In this way, you can save a little or a lot of money each month, which can add up to big saving over the course of a year.

You can do this by transferring existing credit debt, if possible, to a 0% credit card, even if it is only for a few months to take advantage of the low interest rate. Once the 0% credit promotion has expired, you can then either transfer the credit to another card with 0% or if your credit is ok, apply for another card or loan that has 0% interest rate.

In this way you could possibly avoid paying interest on your loans and credit cards for six months or more, and then use the money you save to pay down your credit faster. Your ultimate financial goal for 2012 should be to pay down your debt, and ultimately eliminate it.

Tax efficient savings account -- Depending on how much savings you may have stored up, you should find out how much tax you are paying on your interest, so you don’t have to pay more than you have too. Usually a normal savings type of an account will be taxed at a regular or standard rate, while some creative savings schemes have been known to pay nothing in tax.

How to spend less in 2012

Make a list – It is amazing to discover that many people don’t have a set or fixed budget. Whether you have a budget or not, making a list of your daily expenditures is a great way to see where every penny you spend goes each day. In this way you can get an idea of what necessary and no essential things you buy daily. Once people do this, they are amazed how much money they spend each month on non-essential items and activities.

Controlling spending may seem hard at first, but your goal is to save as much money as you can, while at the same time paying down your debt each month to meet your personal finance resolutions for 2012.

Cancel auto-payments – You may want to re-evaluate any monthly or yearly auto-payments on your credit cards and PayPal account. You may be able to do without some of the monthly or yearly services and subscriptions you have. The money you save from cancelling them, along with the few dollars saved cutting back on daily miscellaneous spending can add up to a lot.

Now-a-days people are shocked to discover with regularity auto payments being taken from their PayPal accounts from services or subscriptions they assumed where cancelled months earlier. This can be a hole in the boat of any attempt at saving money.

Cut your monthly bills in 2012

If you’re looking to find some personal finance resolutions for 2012, then look no farther than your utility bills. In some regions domestic fuel prices skyrocket more than 20% last year alone! Turning off unnecessary lights whenever possible can save more than you realize.

Using lower watt bulbs, using solar lights outside your home and tinting your windows are all effective ways of whittling away at your utility bill each month. Installing a programmable thermostat for the winter and summer months when you’re sleeping or not in the house is a great way to reduce you energy bill as well.

Your auto insurance in 2012

Surprisingly, most people feel like they have good, or great insurance for their vehicles, but the truth is that most people pay too much for basic car insurance. Changing insurance could save a few hundred a year, especially if you pay yearly rather than monthly to avoid extra charges.

You can’t depend on the government or anyone else to help you save money during these difficult times. So, are you willing to make these part of your personal finance resolutions for 2012? Your financial future is up to you.

Isaac writes for a host of UK business on subjects from total reward statements to successful entrepreneurship. In his spare time Isaac cycles and studies.


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