New Year, New You!

2013-010

Photograph: http://www.alamy.com

It’s a new year, and that means a new you! It is certainly a time for new beginnings, and you may have set some goals for yourself this year aside from the totally predictable (and forgettable) “work out regularly.” While I’m an avid fan of getting my sweat on, I like to make sure my finances are also in good shape. So I’ve made up my own to-do list for 2013:

  1. Align bills to all be due around the same time. This way, they can all be paid at once, saving time.
  2. If you haven’t already, set up your bank account online and pay your bills digitally. This will save the following: time managing paperwork, money spent on stamps and envelopes, trips to the post office, etc.
  3. Compare shop insurance companies and utilities. Maybe I’m paying $150 for cable, internet and phone to Company A, but I can switch to Company B and receive the same service for $100. Maybe I can’t. But I’ll never know unless I ask.
  4. Haggle. Sure, this isn’t possible at say… a department store. But I bet you can talk down the quote the salesman gave you on that new refrigerator. Women are notorious for being too intimidated to haggle. Compare shop, educate yourself, and do it!
  5. Save. It can be as simple as a starting with $1 this week.  This 52 Week Money Challenge , brought to my attention by a reader (thanks Ali!), is trending for the new year.
  6. Invest in yourself. Take class (or a few) to improve your skills and improve your workplace marketability. Update your resume. Join a professional or hobby-related association. Network with other like minded individuals. Get new business cards. Market yourself!
  7. DIY. Yes, I said it. Do it yourself. My fellow HGTV fans may likely already embrace this concept. There’s nothing like the feeling of completing a project you know how to do, instead of delegating it out and paying someone else to do it. Case in point: I just finished painting my living room. Could I have hired someone to do it? Sure. Was it a little bit of a pain in the butt? Yes. But did I feel amazing at a job well done when it was finished? You bet.
  8. Buy what you need. Purchasing random items that catch your eye can leave your wallet feeling light at the end of the month. Try to skip the impulse buys and use those dollars for something else.
  9. Cook. Yes, you’re tired and it’s just so easy to order in or head out to eat. But remember all that those nights out to eat can put more of a dent in your budget than you realize.

What’s on your to-do list for 2013? Leave a comment below to share your ideas with the rest of the Chickvesting community!

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4 thoughts on “New Year, New You!

      • No problem! Here’s one more:
        “$1 Coffee at 7-Eleven – Every Size – Every Roast – Every Wednesday – ALL MONTH LONG!”
        I don’t drink coffee but I know many who will benefit that. Although alongside #9, you could definitely save by making coffee at home, instead of purchasing coffee out daily, sometimes more than once.
        One last mention on #9 though, I find it so frustrating when cooking at home does cost as much as it may to go out, especially when wanting to cook healthy. You have to find a good balance somehow.

      • Thanks for the 7-11 info! I’m into healthy eating as well and I find that when I buy good food (meat from a butcher, for example), it tastes better and is easier to prepare. Some easy to cook on a weeknight type of meals: pasta with fresh veggies, stir fry, grilled chicken with anything, burritos (great to use up leftovers and clean out a fridge), salmon with mango (a personal favorite)… and the list goes on. But it definitely is about keeping balance. If you’re working overtime often, try considering the opportunity cost. Your overtime pay is probably more than the money you spend on take-out, so it may be worth it to indulge from time to time to keep your sanity!

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