Improve Your Finances in the New Year

A new year means a new opportunity to get your finances on track. Use these tips to improve your finances in 2016.

Create a Budget

A better financial year starts with a better budget. Use these tools to put yours together:

Set Goals

You can't spend your money on the things that are important to you, if you don't know what those things are. Get all of your financial goals on paper, so you can start spending more purposefully:

Pay Off Debt

Nothing will drag you down faster than a pile of debt. Make this the year that you finally get all of those credit cards and loans paid off:

Build Up Your Savings

Peace of mind is priceless. Stuff your savings account with enough cash to get you through the rainiest of days:

Slash Your Expenses

Give yourself a raise by spending less on everything (it's easier than asking your boss for a raise, and much more effective).

How to spend less on ...

Find New Income Streams

One paycheck is good; three or four is better. Work to establish multiple income streams, so the loss of one won't be so devastating:

Get Organized

Get a handle on what you have and what you need, and you'll spend less:

Eliminate Spending Temptations

A mailbox full of credit card offers, catalogs and sales notifications will only tempt you to spend more than you intended. Clean up your inbox by unsubscribing from store e-mails. Then use these tips to tackle your snail mail:

Take Better Care Of Your Stuff

Treating your stuff as disposable is the quickest way to dispose of your income. Make a conscious effort to buy quality products. Then, take good care of them:

Use It Up

Don't let anything go to waste. Find ways to use and reuse everything that you own:

Make Do

Before you race to the store for something, see if there's something else in your house that you could use instead:

Do More Yourself

When you need something done, try to do it yourself. It's a great way to rack up skills, instead of bills:

Try New Recipes

Sick of eating the same thing night after night? Add new recipes to your rotation, so you won't be tempted to eat out all the time:

Plan for the Unexpected

Don't let anything or anyone knock you off your game. Figure out what steps you need to take to protect your finances; then take them:

Plan Your Purchases

Try to buy things before you need them, and you won't feel pressured to buy at any price:

Declutter Your Home

Make room for the stuff that is important to you, and make money off of the stuff that isn't.

Where to Sell Your Stuff for the Most Cash:

Conserve Your Resources

Snag More Freebies

Food, gas, vacations – there's no limit to what you can get for free. Start snagging your share of all the free loot:

Become a Master Negotiator

The best deals go to the people who ask for them. Brush up on your negotiation skills. Then, go after those deals:

Never Pay Full-Price

Develop an aversion to paying full-price. Then, do everything you can to avoid it:

Master Couponing

Hand your cashier a wad of coupons, instead of a wad of cash. It makes waiting in line much more tolerable: