The new year is a great opportunity to kick-start money resolutions. While most resolutions fall by the wayside, we've come up with 13 easy-to-implement ways to fine-tune your finances in 2013.
- Set up an extra savings account. Add an automatic deposit of $5 to $10 each week to build toward something special such as an emergency fund, anniversary gift or dream vacation.
- Reassess holiday gifts. Take the ones you no longer use and sell them online, or have a garage sale.
- Research a "staycation." Consider local hotspots you've never visited or attractions you've overlooked that are within driving distance.
- Check your credit report or financial accounts. Fail to do this, and you could overlook fraudulent charges or accounts you no longer need.
- Go through your subscriptions. Look at all of them -- television, magazine, website, health clubs and otherwise. If you're not using a subscription or no longer enjoy it, stop kidding yourself and cancel.
- Collect coins. Empty your pockets, drawers and jars to cash in your coins for something fun.
- Face your financial fears. Maybe you still haven't set up a will or trust, your financial statements are in a state of disarray, or you can't keep track of your credit cards. Get organized and tackle these projects.
- Donate to a charity. Whether donating money or time, remember to give.
- Challenge a bad habit. Find one financial bad habit that stresses you out and see if you can live without it. If you're addicted to online shopping or have too many shoes, take a 30-day hiatus from such activities.
- Get your tax documents and receipts together early. Don't wait until April this time.
- Educate yourself. Commit to reading one book on personal finance.
- Learn a new do-it-yourself trick that saves cash. Maybe you could brew your own coffee. Or, perhaps it is time to dust off that recipe book to save some money.
- Pick one big financial goal that gets you excited. Would you love to pay off your credit card, or max out your Roth individual retirement account? Would you get more excited about snagging a deal on a new car or saving up for a dream vacation? Set a big goal and dedicate your year to it.
Shannyn Allan is a blogger at FrugalBeautiful.com and blogs about personal finance and frugality for the 20-something crowd. You can find her on Twitter @FrugalBeautiful.