Laura covers seven financial resolutions that could save you thousands and turbocharge your success. Even if you adopt just a few of them, you just may be in the best financial shape of your life this year.
Resolution #4: Get rid of unused stuff.
We all have unused stuff, like housewares, sporting goods, electronics, clothes, and items in storage that we should get rid of. When my husband and I moved from Florida to Silicon Valley a few years ago, we downsized considerably. But I still have cabinets full of items that haven’t seen the light of day since then.
Join me by making a resolution to unload items that you haven’t used in the past year or two. If you haven’t looked at or needed something within that period of time, it’s likely that you really don’t like it or need it. When you come across something that you actually forgot that you own, definitely consider purging it!
In many cases, when we have too much clutter or feel unorganized, the solution isn’t to get organized—but to get rid of more so you don’t have to manage it. Donations to charity help others and can be a tax-deductible expense.
Finding money is fun. When you sell unused items you can use the money to buy something you really want, or to build your financial security by socking it away in an emergency fund or a retirement account.
In many cases, when we have too much clutter or feel unorganized, the solution isn’t to get organized—but to get rid of more so you don’t have to manage it.
Resolution #5: Check your credit.
The vast majority of Americans have never checked their credit, even though you should review it at least once a year. Your credit is a canary in a coalmine because when it unexpectedly goes down, there’s trouble—namely, the likelihood that you’ve become the victim of identity theft.
A criminal who steals your personal information could use it to open up credit cards, take out a car loan, buy a home, file taxes, or take government benefits in your name without you knowing it. The only way you’d discover the fraud is if a collector contacts you after the thief stops paying or by seeing unfamiliar accounts on your credit file.
In addition to stopping an identity thief in his tracks, monitoring your credit is an important part of building it. Having good credit means you’ll save huge amounts by paying the lowest rates possible for credit cards, car loans, personal loans, mortgages, and insurance (in most states). Plus, depending on where you live, landlords and employers may also be able to check your credit in their approval process.
Make a resolution to check your credit this year. I promise that it’s easier and faster than buying something online. You can review or download your credit report from each of the 3 nationwide credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) every 12 months for free at annualcreditreport.com.
Free Resource: Credit Score Survival Kit—a multimedia tutorial about how to check your credit and use smart strategies to build and maintain excellent credit for life!