When January rolls around, many Americans make one or more New Year’s resolutions. Over a third of adults plan to quit smoking, lose weight, get out of debt, stop forgetting stuff, and make other lifestyle changes. But many people have a hard time sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Studies have shown that by the end of January, about a third had given up, but another half was successfully working on their goals into March. That shows the longer you stick with it, the more apt you’ll be successful.
Washington, DC -- Just half a year ago, Mona Aaron's personal "time bomb" was ticking. This Waldorf, Md.-based mother in the prime of her life weighed 212 pounds and wore a size 18. She also took five different medications to manage three life-threatening conditions -- diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Treating the symptoms of her medical conditions on a daily basis was a regular brutal reminder that Mona's life was at risk and that only a serious change in diet and lifestyle would change the course of her life.
Even when times are tough, many Americans budget a portion of their assets to go to charity. According to Giving USA, a research institute that publishes data and trends on charitable giving, Americans contributed more than $298.42 billion to charities in 2011. While your heart may guide you to a particular charity, don’t just hand over your hard-earned money without getting some information. Though all charities purport to be doing good work, some organizations have less than stellar track records. Just as you would scrutinize a financial investment, so should you examine a charity to ensure your money makes the biggest impact possible.
Two of the most commonly made and commonly broken New Year’s resolutions are saving money and paying off debt. These are promises we all seem to make to ourselves every year with every intention of seeing through. But somehow, we wind up in the same spot we were before. So how can you make sure that 2013 is the year you take control of your finances and start making your money work for you?