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4 New Year Resolutions for 2018 That Will Improve Your Finances

new year resolutions 2018

Joanne Poh

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Most New Year Resolutions end up in the graveyard of forgotten dreams by February. But that’s okay, because who cares about losing weight, right? Pfft! Looks fade anyway!

But when it comes to money, everyone in Singapore cares. And if you keep your money-related New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, you just might earn back some of the cash you wasted on that unused gym membership you signed up for in order to fulfil your New Year Resolution for 2017.

Here are four New Year Resolutions for 2018 that aren’t too difficult to keep, and that you you won’t regret making.

 

Go through your recurring bills and analyse how you can reduce each one in 2018

Finding a way to lower or rid yourself of your recurring bills is the gift that keeps giving. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to save money each and every month.

So in the first few days of the New Year, collect all the recurring bills you received in 2017—not just the monthly ones like phone bills, but also annual ones like insurance.

Now, figure out if you’re able to reduce the amount you pay for each of the bills, or even eliminate some of the costs altogether.

One area where many people can comfortably save money is phone bills. Figure out when your contract ends and then research your options. You might find downgrading your plan or switching to a new telco cheaper.

Another recurring expense is your home loan repayments. Do research using MoneySmart’s mortgage refinancing wizard to see how much money you could save by refinancing your home loan with a bank that’s offering a more attractive interest rate.

 

Take photos of unwanted items with your smartphone and put them up for sale on Carousell

Anyone who’s ever tried to sell their belongings on online marketplaces like eBay knows what a pain it can be to upload photos, type lengthy descriptions and navigate user-unfriendly platforms.

That’s probably why Carousell has taken off the way it has in Singapore. Listing items on the site is almost as easy as posting a picture on Instagram.

Take full of advantage of this by spending your first week of the New Year taking photos of every unwanted item in your home that’s in remotely good working condition and uploading the pictures on Carousell.

It might take you a few hours, but once everything is online you just have to sit back and wait for the offers to roll in. You’ll not only be eliminating clutter and getting rid of those horrible clothing items you’re embarrassed to admit you own, but also earning yourself a bit of spare cash.

 

Make new career goals

Most of us go through work day after work day in a daze, with barely a second to catch our breaths and reflect on why we’re working so damn hard in the first place.

Take some time out during the end-of-year holidays to reflect on where your career is headed, and where you want to be in the future. There is no use toiling away without a clear career strategy.

So set out your career aspirations and how you plan to get there. Put everything down on paper so you can refer to it for motivation or when faced with career decisions.

What if you have no idea what you want out of your career? Then make it your mission to figure out what your goals are in 2018. Read as much as you can, talk to others in your industry and collect information on the various career paths open to you.

 

Review your investment portfolio and insurance plans

Sound financial planning is key to helping you achieve longterm financial goals like, uh, not having to work till you die.

But painstakingly putting together an investment portfolio and buying all the right insurance products once in your life and then never looking back is not the way to achieve optimal results.

You’ll need to review your investment and insurance plans periodically to ensure that they’re still serving you well, and to make changes if needed.

Your investment needs will change over time according to your age and risk appetite. So while you might have put most of your money into growth stocks when you were younger, you might want to shift your cash to blue chips when you’re older and more risk-averse.

It’s also a good idea to review your insurance plans from time to time, or reassess your insurance needs.

For instance, you might not have bothered to buy life insurance when you were younger, but if you recently started a family that’s definitely something you’ll want to consider.

The vast majority of people sign up for medical insurance plans without reading the actual policy. Commit to reviewing your existing plans and shopping around for a better policy (you can do so using MoneySmart’s health insurance wizard) if necessary—but don’t forget to go for a check-up to ensure you have no pre-existing conditions first.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018? Share them with us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.