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Experts Offer Their Best Tips For Keeping Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

[Sunday, January 6th, 2019]

As the winter holidays fade into memory and the new year advances, many people find that their resolutions to lose weight, eat better, go to the gym, get more organized, and generally be better versions of themselves also recede into the distance.

However, if one of your resolutions this year was to get your financial house in order, experts from Take Charge America, a nonprofit agency offering financial education and counseling, have some tips to help you keep going strong.

Take Charge America has helped more than 1.6 million consumers across the United States manage their debts and get into better financial shape. Here are their top tips for saving, spending smart, and setting goals this year.

  • Make a budget. Write down your monthly income and expenses, or use an online program or budgeting app to keep track of where your money goes.
  • Pay yourself. When you make that budget, don’t forget to add a line item for funds that go into your savings account or emergency fund. Even a small amount each month will add up over time.
  • Get a new gig. The gig economy is a great way to boost your income on the side. Consider driving for a ride-sharing app like Lyft, hiring yourself out to do small tasks via TaskRabbit, or delivering food through UberEats.
  • Keep your goals realistic. Think small when it comes to setting goals. Aim to save $20 a week, rather than $20,000 a year, and you’ll be able to celebrate each little victory instead of beating yourself up for falling short.
  • Spring clean in winter. Use January and February to go through your closets, garage, and basement for things you can sell online or at a yard sale. Decluttering can earn you money as well as making it easier to live in your space comfortably.
  • Sell gift cards you won’t use. Online services like Cardpool or CardCash.com let you trade unwanted gift cards for cash that you can put into savings.
  • Wait before making a purchase. When you have a burning desire to drop a few – or a lot – of bucks on an unplanned purchase, stop yourself. Wait 24 hours and then see whether you still think you need whatever it is you desired. The impulse may have worn off by then.

“It’s actually easy to cut expenses and save money,” says Mike Sullivan, personal finance consultant with Take Charge America. “The key is to set realistic goals, celebrate small victories, and get creative with cost-cutting.”

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Most people are familiar with rewards credit cards that give members bonus cashback in certain categories that change each quarter. But U.S. Bank’s new business credit card will let companies earn more rewards by offering the biggest bonuses in categories where they spend the most each statement period.

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[April 18th, 2018]

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