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Resolution Solution: 5 Ways to Start Saving Money in the New Year

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your finances in order, these guidelines will help you get started.

In this economy—and especially during this time of year—many of us are facing our very own fiscal cliff. While we may not be able to raise revenue as easily as the federal government can, these five steps may help you reach solvency and put savings in the bank, financial planners say.

  1. Get organized. Put due dates for bills on an electronic calendar and you’ll get email reminders to avoid late fees. A good filing system will help when tax time rolls around and will be useful in the next step below.
  2. Get a budget. There’s a ton of free online resources for this, including mint.com and budgettracker.com. Some even track your bills.
  3. Get a debit card—and some scissors for your credit cards. Better yet, pay cash whenever possible. It’s a fact that most people spend more when using a credit card. And if you use a credit card, pay the full amount owed each month. Servicing that debt will only get you deeper into debt.
  4. Get a handle on your credit score. The first three steps will help with this. A higher credit score can help you get a better interest rate if you’re looking to lower your home mortgage by refinancing, or help you get lower credit rates in general.
  5. Get professional help. Nonprofits like Money Management International offer assistance at no charge. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University has helped many people become debt and financial-worry free. Ramsey’s service isn’t free, but you can get a one-week free trial to test whether it fits your needs.

Once you’re free of debt and ready to grow your savings, you can look to financial services companies for investment advice, including banks (Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others), insurers (State Farm, Allianz and others) and brokers (Edward Jones, for example).

Good luck!

Troll Buster 12292013b December 30, 2012 at 04:52 AM
@aaron - odd, no one else has your problem.
Andrew Peceimer December 30, 2012 at 05:01 AM
If you are Obama and you have a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit and no agreement yet for 2013, what do you do? He spends more of our money!!!!!!!!!! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/obama-pay-raise-congress_n_2377714.html We should have a pool as to what year the United Socialists of America will default on our obligations due to Obama and Bush's reckless spending.
Pretty Asian... December 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM
AARON: it's English. i did short cuts cuz of the 1,500 character limit allowed here. thank you
Pretty Asian... December 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM
i used metaphor. thank you!
Pretty Asian... December 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM
you nailed it! thank you...
Pretty Asian... December 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM
that is even better because i would like to believe that Patch readers are cerebral and opinionated. we learn from everyone's viewpoints. thank you...
Bwood December 30, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Yes, but if you're not earning anything, you're not saving anything...
Bwood December 30, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Your text-style communication suggests to me you have a mobile phone of some kind. What is that (plan) costing you? I wish I had as many pat answers as you do - your whole post looks cut-and-pasted from somewhere else.
Bwood December 30, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Yeah, I'd choose poverty over being rich any day. Oh please, you two.
HearyehHearyeh December 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Andrew, I think you are on the right track as far as laying blame on both parties, however the actual problem exists with the American Public in the 98%. They still believe, at least most of them that politics will take care of them as long as they vote for the candidate of their choice in either the Democratic or Republican party or some semblance of that. The real issue is that a new party, well, new to some, Plutocracy is running the country. So as you will no doubt drown in your newly created pool, that is if you are part of the 98% and the Plutocrats will be laughing all the way to the bank. Oh yes and Michael W, only Plutocrats have the money to afford Rolexs and all the other goodies that go with them
M.Legison December 30, 2012 at 08:15 PM
One sure fire way to save money is to move out of this God forsaken state. Nevada is close and relatively non-confiscatory. Here we have a bunch of cube dwelling state administrators and lawyers playing tiddlywinks and complaining about their compensation while state agencies are stealing tens of millions of our money from under their noses. Great expose today in the Bee about Parks and Recreation. Those responsible probably got promoted.
M.Legison December 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Bwood--It's not about choosing to be rich or poor, it's about choosing not to be poor and it IS a choice, regardless of what the Democrats tell you. And if you're not working or receiving earned income (this includes social security) from investments, you're doing that by choice too and are a bum if this continues for a long period.
Chris Kiely December 30, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Patch is unreadable these days.
Gina Tenorio (Editor) December 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
What makes you feel this way Chris?
Jason December 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Why shouldn't they get promoted? Didn't they save something like $20 million and con the citizenry out of another $20 million? What other government body has been so successful at fleecing the populace? Not only did they collect the tax revenue, but they convinced people to give away more money of their own free will!
Bwood December 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Logic like that is so wrong, I can't argue with it.
Michael December 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM
HearYeh, Wow, that's the thanks I get for giving some good advice for the working man! I see people routinely lose big money on cars ($10K-$15K) in 24 months on Chevrolets- that's gone forever, but think $6K is too much for a watch- that keeps its value 24 months later. I'm just 'sayin. I think you're right about the political parties, both pretty much sell you out just to keep their own perks. The Republicans are about to roll-over and sell out their principles. However, their was a BIG difference between Reagan and Carter. There would have been a BIG difference if Tom McClintock became governor- we would not have the spending PROBLEM we have now. So, it still matters.
Pretty Asian... December 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM
i guess wherever we are, it is still up to us to make it or break it. we have to be independently financially productive. start up a business. as what i shared, we should stop blaming others. it's our lives, not theirs. so, we move on.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Yvonne: three men went into a hotel and rented a room. The desk person told them it would be 30 dollars for the three. Each man gave him a ten. Later, the desk clerk realized he had overcharged them them by five dollars, so he gave the bell boy five ones and told him to take it to the men. The bellboy decided he could rip them off by two dollars, and gave each man a one. The men collectively payed 27 dollars for the room. The bell boy has two dollars, 27 plus 2 = 29 dollars. Where did the extra dollar go?
JJH December 31, 2012 at 04:28 AM
@Robert Fishback: I thought I was the only one who used that example to stump people. Do you know that this example is one of two flaws in mathematics?
Bud Burlison December 31, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Well, pretty asian's posting format for one. then her idiotic statement that poverty is a choice.Then the poor bereft-of- candidates conservatives (McClintock for governor!!!) making a simple topic about personally saving money into a soap box political statement. Mostly people like M.Legison posting like he has Mitt Romney's hand up his backside pulling his jaw strings. feh
Bwood December 31, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Now M., THAT we can agree on!
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 05:41 AM
First, yes, a great flaw in Mathematics..and Chris...yes, in the short time I have "Headquartered" from this Patch site, it is rapidly deteriorating. This is what the eds. are for. Freedom of speech is ok as long as you realize that this freedom does not tie the hands of those responsible for maintaining THEIR paramaters for what the PATCH IS ALL ABOUT. Free to speak your mind, yes, Free to moderate also yes....Try to preach the Gospel in front of a synagog; you will see what I mean
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 05:50 AM
JJH.....What is the other flaw?. If Stanislaw Ulam could prove Teller wrong, don't you think a few more flaws could exhist? B
Chris Kiely December 31, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Robert F. The extra $1 in the riddle didn't disappear. The $2 the bellboy kept is part of the $27 the men paid for the room, 25 + 2. The extra 3 is the money the men got back.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Michael W. When you choose to enter this arena....don't expect thanks....Like the squerrel said when it tried to ....a skunk...."That's enough of this shit...."
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Pls remember..this is for fun: It appears there are some astute math people out there. Here is one that catches alot of advanced Math people.....Change the repeating decimnal 0.. 127127127....into a common fraction. Nothing special about 127...Please tell me how you did it or how you would do it....
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 06:53 AM
The term "wealth": has been mentioned a number of times. What is wealth to you? To me, wealth is being content..having a shelter over my head..being warm in cold, being cool in heat. Having some clothing to wear; having food to eat. Being loved by someone; having someone to love. Memories..there is wealth in itself....One third of our lives we spend in sleep..the lights are out and all is dark. I would not feel any different if I were in a mansion...after all, it is dark and I cannot see it. The Bible says: "The abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep" The rich worry about losing what they have....I can tell you how much each rich man will leave behind...he will leave it all....If you have the basics I mentioned above, you have wealth......
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 08:46 AM
The FALLACY in higher Mathematics....There comes a point when already established formulae can be proven or dis=proven by the same logic used to create the formulae in question
ROBERT E. FISHBACK December 31, 2012 at 09:13 AM
People seem obsessed by money. What is money? It is a govt printed piece of paper that represents nothing of value other than a unique way of printing on a unique piece of paper,,,No gold behind it....it is self declared federal reserve note. What gives money its value? Nothing but the desire for it. Money is a real bargain, you give the seller an intrinsically worthless piece of paper for an intrinsically valuable product made by craftsmen...But, to be fair, I guess it takes real craftsmen to print something no one else can print in exact likeness. All this sounds shaky to me....but, it seems to work..so far...

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