Yes, you should stick to your budget, save more, and fully fund your retirement account. But you already know that.
Jonathan Clements, director of financial education for Citi Personal Wealth Management, suggests moving past the obvious and committing to these three counterintuitive money resolutions in 2014. Your wallet will thank you.
1) Stop trying to “save money” by shopping the sale rack. It doesn’t count as saving when you buy something you don’t need at a discount. “No matter how much the price is reduced, you’re still spending money,” says Clements.
2) Open your eyes to how much you waste money. Be honest. You probably pay for groceries that end up going bad, infrequently watched cable channels, unused extended warranties, clothes you rarely wear, and subscriptions to publications you don’t read. Clements suggests using money management tools offered by your bank or a financial service like Mint.com to get a clearer picture of where your money goes.
3) Don’t look at your investment accounts so often. You probably think you’re being responsible by checking how your money’s doing. Instead, you may just stress yourself out or overact to normal market volatility. “Looking frequently probably won’t help you make smarter financial decisions, but it could prompt you to trade too much and perhaps make panicky decisions,” Clements says.