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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

January 31, 2011
Are You Setting the New Year's Resolution Bar Too High?

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Start the year off on strong financial footing with these tips for boosting your savings and bettering your finances.


You’ve probably resolved to lose weight and get in shape for the new year, but what about your financial fitness? People often become discouraged and fail to meet financial goals because they’ve aimed too high. Instead, start out with small changes you know you can make. Try these:

• Pay at least the monthly minimum on all accounts, on time, to avoid late fees; then pour more into the highest-interest-rate account to pay it off first.

• Create an emergency fund. Start by setting aside a dollar a day for a month. Then double that to two dollars a day for the next month. Then double it again, and so on. You’ll never miss the money and it’ll help build that crucial six-month reserve of living expenses. Put it in a money market account that’s harder to get at so you’re not tempted to tap it unnecessarily.

Bottom line: Set realistic financial resolutions you can keep.

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