At the start of each new year, most of us think about what we’d like to accomplish over the coming months. New Year resolutions date back thousands of years, and research shows that the concept is alive and well today.  But how many people make financial resolutions? According to a study done by Fidelity Investments, 65% of respondents considered setting a financial resolution last year. If you’re looking for inspiration when setting yours, you’ve come to the right place. 

8 Attainable Financial Tips for the New Year

1. File Your Taxes Early This Year 

With COVID-related delays still impacting just about everything from retail supply chains to IRS turnaround times, filing before the rush that occurs closer to the April deadline can ensure that you get any money you’re owed quickly. 

And before you file, now is a great time to reevaluate the service you’ve been using. A cheaper price tag does not always equate to a downgrade in service level. When it comes to filing your taxes, there are several affordable or even free online tax platforms you can take advantage of this coming season. 

2. Make An Extra Credit Card Payment 

Whether it’s with gifted holiday money, an unexpected tax return, or another windfall, making an extra credit card payment can help you get out of debt faster. This is one of the most common financial resolutions out there. 

A convenient personal loan can also help you consolidate your credit card payments if you’re having trouble keeping track of them. 

3. Switch to an Income-Based Student Loan Payment Rate 

While it seems unlikely now that the student loan payment moratorium will be extended again, there are other options for lessening the financial burden of impending loan payments. One of the best options is requesting an income-based repayment rate. 

By updating your income information, your loan processor may be able to lower your monthly minimum payment significantly. If you are currently unemployed, you should also ask about further deferment or economic hardship options. 

4. Have a Money Meeting with Your Household Partner or Family 

One of our favorite financial tips for the new year involves a unique kind of bonding. Whether you’re going through budgeting fundamentals for elementary-aged students, money tips for teens, or revisiting your budget with your spouse or household partner, it’s important to check in. 

And what better time to check in financially than the start of a fresh new year? 

5. Revisit Your Subscriptions 

Most households have at least one streaming service subscription and many of them have several. With automatic withdrawals and sneaky annual price increases, it’s easy enough for us to forget about subscriptions we rarely or never use. 

Early in the new year is a great time to go through our bank statements and revisit our subscriptions. Chances are good that there’s one or two we don’t need anymore, and even just $7 per month adds up throughout the year. 

Once you’ve canceled the ones you don’t need anymore, check out our list of the streaming services that give you the most bang for your buck. Some of them are even free. 

6. Set An Automated Savings Goal 

Remember when we mentioned that even just a few dollars per month will add up? Well, now is the time to show instead of tell. Whether you choose to fund it monthly or weekly, and with $50 or $5, small steps are often the key to sticking with our financial resolutions. 

Rather than adding another task to your to-do list, set up automatic withdrawals from your primary checking account to your pre-existing or new online savings account. When you choose small amounts and automatic withdrawals, you likely won’t notice the money slipping from your account, but one day you’ll have a lump sum for a savings goal or emergency fund. 

7. Spend Less on Items You Need 

Items like food and clothing are necessities. But many of us spend more money on them than we need to. When you need new clothes, browse the racks at a local thrift store to find the items you need at a fraction of the price. 

When you need groceries, try a budget-friendly chain like Aldi or Walmart and get everything on your list while also saving up to 30% without clipping coupons. You’ll see that budgeting for your needs can quickly pay off.

8. Do A Closet Cleanout 

We wanted to end this list with a financial resolution that not only helps you save money but also makes extra room and leaves your home feeling less cluttered. When we say closet cleanout, we mean any room that contains items you no longer need. 

This might mean digging through closets, the attic, the basement, or the garage. Gather all your extra items into one designated space before separating them into piles. One pile should contain items to donate, and the other items you can sell to bring in a little extra cash. 
Websites like Poshmark and ThredUp are ideal for selling old clothing items that are still in good condition. And you can sell old sports gear, toys, electronics, and other items on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.