Lifestyle New Year’s Resolutions that Can Also Save You Money
New Year’s resolutions are a lot of fun because they’re generally positive things to look forward to achieving: going to the gym more often, eating healthier, and making better financial decisions. However, most people don’t realize that these are great resolutions to create not just for your health but also for your wallet and credit score. But which resolutions can affect your checking account the most? Here are five resolutions that can help you better your life and save you money.
1. Getting out of debt
This one might be a no-brainer, but resolving to get out of debt can save you even more money than you think. The higher your debt load, the greater your Credit Utilization Rate on your credit report. Your utilization rate is one of the major components that affect your overall credit score, and the lower your score, the less likely you are to receive lower interest rates or be approved for new loans. When you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, get a new car, or need a loan for education, getting the most competitive rates can mean saving thousands of dollars in interest every year. So it’s essential you know the ripple effect that debt could be having on your financial health.
If you’re ready to get out of debt but aren’t sure where to start, consolidate your debt into as few payments as possible. Consolidating your debt will help reduce the number of creditors you’ll need to pay and make it easier to understand which interest rates your debt is affected by. Use this debt consolidation calculator to see the impact consolidating your debt can make and how much faster you can become debt-free.
2. Getting in shape
Losing weight or improving your physical health can improve your finances, too. Medical costs are rising, and the unhealthy are particularly prone to accruing medical debt. If your resolution this year is to get in shape and drop those extra pounds, you might just notice a reduction in your doctor visits and your medical debt too.
3. Cooking at home or eating healthier
Resolving to eat healthier this year typically involves either cooking more at home or buying less processed junk food, both of which end up saving you money. Cooking instead of going out to eat or ordering takeout can significantly reduce the cost of each of your meals. While there might be a sticker shock at the price of healthy, fresh foods the first time you buy them, you’ll find that making healthier food choices actually saves you money because those foods are typically more filling and make you less inclined to head back for seconds (or thirds!).
4. Learning a new hobby
If you’ve been itching to try a new hobby or skill, you might notice a bump in your checking account. Think about how many times you’ve scrolled through your favorite shopping apps with no real reason but that it was something to do; did you end up spending money then? Instead of hitting up the latest deals on Amazon, pick up a new hobby and spend time doing that. Most hobbies have low-cost startup or secondhand options, so there most likely won’t be a big hit to your bank account to try something new. Plus, hobbies have the added benefit of replacing the time spent on unhealthy habits like eating or shopping while you’re bored, saving you more money over time.
5. Quitting smoking
Quitting smoking not only benefits your physical health but your financial health, too. Studies have shown that ex-smokers who smoked one pack a day or more save tens of thousands every year once they give it up for good. What could you do with an extra $10,000 this year?
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a way to kick off the new year, there are few better than these five popular resolutions that have the bonus of saving you money. If you can’t find the time to devote to them all, pick the ones that make sense for your life and track your success over time. Soon, you’ll start to see a ripple effect from your progress that not only improves your life but your financial situation, too.