Nearly 46% of consumers say they typically consider making a financial resolution – up 31% since the first year of the survey in 2009.
The top 3 financial resolutions? Saving more (52%), spending less (19%) and paying off debt (19%).
Adrian Nazari, CEO and founder of CreditSesame.com, talks about how consumers can start 2013 on the right financial foot, as well as discusses the top 3 financial resolutions and what consumers can do to address them including:
There are lots of small steps that consumers can take to achieve this resolution so choose options that fit the best with your lifestyle. Create a budget. Have more money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck and put in your 401k. Bring your lunch to work more frequently. Eliminate expensive membership fees (i.e. that gym you no longer use.) According to the Wall Street Journal, 88% of resolutions fail, so the key here is to set small, achievable goals that add up to a whole lot of savings. If you’re still worried you’ll break your resolution, consider motivating yourself by money. There are websites out there that will allow you to set a goal. If you achieve it, nothing happens, but if you don’t achieve it, the site will charge your credit card and donate money to a charity whose cause you hate.
The best place to start is by evaluating your current expenses. Do you really need cable television or can you make do without? What about that monthly subscription to Netflix or your 10 magazine subscriptions? Is now really the best time to buy that new couch or could you find one for free? One of the easiest and most overlooked ways to spend less is by re-evaluating your debt and improving your credit score. Consumers with better credit scores have better interest rates. Credit Sesame has found that 1 in 3 Americans are overpaying $541 a month on their loans. By refinancing, consumers could quickly save hundreds of dollars every year without having to make significant cuts to their budget.
Paying Off Debt
After taking a look at your holiday shopping credit card bill, you may (unsurprisingly) groan and vow to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. However, according the Journal of Marketing Research, consumers often go about paying their debt down the wrong way – and it can cost them in the long run. Most consumers will choose to pay off the smallest balances first, rather than the balance with the highest interest rates. Depending on the amount of debt and the different interest rates, the savings could add up. Consider using an interest rate calculator to determine how much you should pay.
Consumers who are serious about their finances should also consider signing up for free credit monitoring from Credit Sesame. Not only will credit monitoring allow consumers to stay on top of their credit, but they’ll receive alerts when important changes occur. This makes it easy for consumers to know where they stand financially, if their identity has been compromised and keep track of what’s reported to the credit bureaus.