These resolutions can save you money| 1/12/14 7:05pm
New Year’s resolutions are a tradition that many embrace but few stick with as the year progresses. The most successful resolutions are often those that make the most positive impacts on peoples’ lives, such as improving their overall health or altering their career paths. Resolutions that save money also are likely to prove successful. Though saving money might not be the primary goal of many resolutions, savings can be an added benefit for those who resolve to make the following changes:
- Quit smoking. Many people resolve to quit smoking to improve their overall health, as smoking has been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer. But quitting smoking also has other benefits. Smokers who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day can expect to spend several thousand dollars a year on their habits. The cost of a pack of cigarettes depends on where a smoker lives, but a smoker who pays $10 per pack and smokes one pack each day will spend $3,650 in a year. Quitting smoking can put that money back in your pocket, potentially lower your insurance costs (the National Association of Health Underwriters estimates that smokers will spend 50 percent more on life insurance policies than nonsmokers) and improve your overall health considerably.
- Eat right and exercise. Making exercise a part of your weekly routine is another way to save money over the long haul. According to the National Association of Health Underwriters, people who combine a healthy diet with exercise three times per week can decrease their prescription medications costs by 70 percent and their overall medical costs by 30 percent. Exercise greatly reduces a person’s risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Each of those conditions is not only unhealthy but costly, as well. But each also is largely preventable when people adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Eliminate debt. Debt costs money, and research has shown that debt can negatively affect quality of life. The longer that people carry balances on their credit cards, the more interest they’re paying on those debts. The dawn of a new year marks a great time to resolve your debt issues. You can contact your creditors to discuss a payment plan that may help lower your obligations. Some credit card companies are willing to work with cardholders who are overwhelmed by their debts. Such companies may devise payment schedules that keep interest from accruing on existing debts so long as cardholders make predetermined minimum payments on time each month.
- Start saving more money. Resolving to set more money aside for savings can save you money over the long haul.