Good Morning Green Panda friends.  Today we are talking all about finding a better you in 2013. Think about your New Year’s resolutions and how they are going to positively impact your life.  Is your New Year’s resolution related to your money? If so then Green Panda is here to help you achieve your New Year’s resolution and accomplish your personal goals.

3 New Year’s resolutions related to money and how to achieve them:

1. Increase Your Income.  If you are a college student or if you are just starting your professional life after graduation you may not have the luxury of having a regular income stream or having a lot of income. But don’t worry this is only a temporary situation.  As you gain work experience your income will increase. In the meantime you can always find a part time job or a second job to help increase your income.  However this may be time consuming.

If you want to start earning more income then start looking for freelance work in a field that you are already good at or try turning your hobby into a second source of income.

2. Cut Your Expenses in Half.  Other than food and rent all of your other expenses are extras and you can probably live without them.  After the market crash my income dropped substantially and therefore I had to drastically cut down my expenses.  It was a huge personal defeat but it had to be done.

Do you know what I realized afterwards? I realized that I can still live happily without my car, my conveniently located downtown apartment and eating out in restaurants several times a week.  My lifestyle definitely changed but I am still happy and I am still enjoying life, I just found ways to enjoy life without spending money.  Tracking your personal budget will help you determine where you are spending money that could otherwise be saved.  It will help you cut unnecessary expenses.

3. Start Saving Your Money Today.  It is financially comforting to have a little retirement nest egg but if you are in college or a recent college graduate you most likely have many other financial goals before you reach retirement.  People should start to save for retirement as early as possible because you will only need to save a little bit of money at a time since the goal is so far away.

When you are younger most of your budget that is allocated towards savings should be used to set up an emergency savings fund and other types of liquid investments that you have access to at anytime. As a recent college graduate your personal and professional roots have not yet been planted so you will need access to money anytime in case you need to relocate. Saving your money in a high interest savings account, in a money market investment or in low risk bond mutual funds is a good way to build up your emergency savings fund.

What is your New Year’s resolution for your money?

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