1). Start A Holiday Savings Account! Now that the official New Year has begun, set up an automatic savings plan from your pay stub or an automatic transfer from your checking account into a separate account to be used strictly for next holiday season. By putting away just $10 to $20 a week, you can avoid the dreaded credit card debt syndrome going into the following year holiday season.
2). Increase Your 401(k) Contributions By 1% – Sometimes saving for retirement can feel like climbing a mountain. Typically, you will get your raise from your employer in the beginning of the year. Increase your 401(k) savings by 1% and you won’t miss it. Out of mind out of sight. If you get a raise, this will be one of the easiest ways to boost up your forced savings.
3). Shop All Of Your Bills – It is far too easy to pay your bills on line today without even reading them. Call each of your core 8 to 12 bill vendors and just simply ask if they have a better deal or plan you should be on at this time. Your cable, gas, electric, and cell phone vendors don’t want to lose that recurring revenue in the beginning of the year, so strike while the iron is hot!
4). Plan Your Vacations With Your Points – Most frequent flier or point programs also come with an expiration date. Even if they don’t expire, you should plan your first vacation of the year strictly trying to use your points. If you do your homework and travel at the right time of the year, many hotel chains have point stretcher deals and you may be able to find a discount on an airline point program. Don’t worry about trying to save these points for a rainy day.
5). Buy What Is On Sale – January is a great month to stock up on all Christmas items, Jewelry, Bedding, Calendars, Toys, and Electronics. Look for deals on these to get items for cheaper than their regular price.
Of course, every New Year should start out with a complete review of your balance sheet (your net worth) and your income statement (your income vs. your expenses), so you can budget 2012 just like a real company would do at a corporate level. Getting into the habit routinely will allow you to become more financial secure in a much quicker time frame.
Visit to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a free consultation with the leading financial experts for people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s in the country.
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.
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