How can people resolve to save money this year?
Nationwide, millions of people worry every day about having enough money to meet their basic needs, and that makes life stressful and, often, difficult. However, there are many simple steps they may be able to take at the start of this new year to put them on a positive financial footing going forward.
Many of these measures are quite simple, and really only require a little extra work, according to CNBC. Perhaps the most important of these is to keep close tabs on where every dollar earned eventually goes; keeping track of spending - whether it's by category or individual purchase - can go a long way toward helping people understand the roots of whatever financial problems they might face. Without realizing it, spending $10 for a meal at a fast food restaurant here, and $20 to go to the movies there, can add up quickly. While those amounts may not seem like a lot, if it happens more than two or three in a month it can become problematic. For this reason, tracking spending shows where every dollar is going, and may provide insight into how consumers can best tighten up their finances and create a budget.
Another huge drag on income
And when it comes to something that plagues most Americans financially, credit card debt is often at the top of the list, the report said. Consumers who take steps to pay down their outstanding balances with larger payments than they usually make will typically end up seeing a significant financial benefit. This is because that not only shrinks the total amount they owe (and thus the speed with which they rack up interest charges), but also increases the value of each additional payment because any contributions made above the bill's listed minimum go toward reducing the principal, not whatever is owed in interest. Further, lower credit card debts also improve a person's credit score, meaning that when they seek additional financing in the future, it's likely to be more affordable.
The more people can do to position themselves for financial success, the better off they're likely to be in terms of being able to handle the occasional fiscal emergency that comes their way. Having more flexibility until such a time will also enable them to build a savings account to help them in times of need going forward.