With the “fiscal cliff” looming and questions about the economy on everyone’s mind, here are a few New Year’s resolutions to consider:
Examine your fixed monthly expenses. Consider making an extra mortgage payment. This may seem like a daunting task, but just divide your current mortgage payment by 12 and add that amount to your monthly payment. This can decrease the life of your loan and allow you to build equity in your house faster.
Call your insurance provider(s) and re-examine your coverage. If you have paid off a car over the past year, reconsider your deductible and levels of coverage.
Gauge your energy use. Local energy and gas providers offer great online tools to educate consumers on their energy use. Consider home improvement projects that will cut your monthly expenses over the long term.
Understand your credit score and savings options. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide you a free copy of your credit report. Understand your credit score and look at options to improve it so you will pay less on future loans.
Examine your employer’s 401(k) options. If your company offers a match, be sure you understand how the plan works.
Take a closer look at your pantry and refrigerator. Are you throwing away food because your family does not eat it in time? Consider planning all your upcoming meals using things you already have in your freezer.
When shopping, use the weekly grocery insert to plan your weekly meals. Attempt to find corresponding coupons to make the most of your grocery budget.