How to Make New Year's Resolutions that Save You Money
Making New Year's Resolutions is a grand tradition that illustrates the desire of people in our society to get better each year. But many resolutions are short lived as we return to our settled ways after a number of weak attempts to change. This year can be different, though, if we make concrete goals that help us save money as we achieve them. Here are some areas to focus on.
If you are a smoker make this coming year, in January in fact, the time to quit smoking forever. Search for, find, and print out pictures of diseased lungs, throats, etc., and tape them to your mirror because that's you or will be. Sit down and calculate the direct cost of smoking and see how much you will save per year of not smoking. If smoking costs you $30 a week, that's $1500 a year. If you expect to live another 30 years, that's $45,000 you would have saved, not including the compound growth if you saved or invested that money each year. You'll also have fewer sicknesses and medical bills. You can do it!
Reduce Consumption of Sweets and Alcohol
If you are overweight and want to lose pounds and inches, resolve to do it this year. And do it in ways that will save you money, not cost you money. First, resolve to eliminate packaged snacks and desserts, except for special celebrations. Those are costly luxuries that are unhealthful as well as fattening. Use fruits and vegetables as snacks instead. If you drink alcohol take a year off from consuming it. Or at least have several alcohol-free days a week. Cutting back on sweets and alcohol will save you real money over the course of a year.
Do Aerobic Exercise
Next, begin an exercise program, even if it's just walking around the block or in a mall. Resolve to develop and follow an aerobic exercise plan at least. But get your doctor's approval first. Regular exercise five or more times a week will save you medical expenses down the road.
Aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity level (like brisk walking) for 150 or more minutes per week will deliver major health benefits.
Walk Everywhere You Can
Resolve to walk everywhere that is safe instead of driving to every errand. This will save you fuel and increase your physical activity.
Car Pool If You Commute by Car
Resolve to car pool to work, at least three days a week. Share expenses and save on fuel. That should be doable for many people. Car pool with a friend when you go shopping, too. More money saved.
Save Money in the Home
Resolve to examine every way possible to save money in the home, and do it starting in January. Significantly reduce heating, air conditioning and water heating usage and you will save a lot of money each year. Contact your electric (and gas if applicable) utility to get specific ways to save energy and money.
Final Thoughts on Making Resolutions that Save You Money
If you don't smoke and are not overweight you still have four resolutions above that will save you money, and probably save you hundreds of dollars per year. Also:
- Write all your resolutions down with specific steps to accomplish them. Post these prominently in your home. Review them often. Commit publicly and then it should be easier to keep your commitments. You can do it!
- Always check with your doctor to get medical clearance before beginning or dramatically changing an exercise plan.
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