We stand at the threshold of a new year, and that means it’s time to reflect on what we could be doing better with our money. I know that I take stock of where I’m at every year, and try to figure out what I can do to make the next year better financially. Here are some of my money resolutions for 2011:

Rebuild the Emergency Fund

Since I had to dip into the emergency fund to help pay for the costs of water in my home, my first move is likely to be rebuilding the emergency fund. The fact of the matter is that you want your emergency fund to be there for you, and if you don’t rebuild it, then you run the risk of running out — and that defeats the purpose.

Get More Sleep

Flexo at Consumerism Commentary brought my attention to a recent study that found that getting more sleep enhances your attractiveness. And better looking people make more money. Since I work from home as a freelance writer, my attractiveness really isn’t much of an issue. But getting more sleep will help me focus better and be more productive, which should help me make more money. On top of that, better sleep = better health, and that means money saved in health care costs. And after the six months I’ve just had, I could do with more sleep anyway.

Figure Out How to Work Less and Make More

I’ve been trying to work less at home, so I need to make some improvements to my business so that I can make more while working less. (Isn’t that everyone’s goal?) Some ideas are simple, like better organizing my day so that social media and checking email take place at certain times, improving my productivity and reducing the time I spend on such activities. Other things might be more difficult, such as cutting clients that are less cost efficient and looking for more efficient clients.

Make a Will

My husband and I are without wills, and this is something we should probably remedy. This year would be a good year to figure out what we want done with our assets, and how our son should be cared for after we are gone. Along with this, it’s probably a good idea to review our life insurance policies to make sure that they are appropriate for our situation, as well as double check the types of bank accounts we have and who our beneficiaries are so that there is a reasonably smooth transition if one of us dies.

For the most part, I am trying to simplify my life and my finances — and ongoing effort that carries over from year to year. As a result, I am trying to reduce the number of financial resolutions (and other resolutions) I make, preferring to focus on the most important items on my list. While I continue to work on the basics of finance, such as conscious spending and saving where I can, I am limiting big goals to the things that are most important. That, I hope, will help me focus my efforts better.

What are your money plans for 2011?


Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.