By Kali Geldis
You’re making your list and checking it twice, but did you maybe forget to include someone? Like yourself?
Full disclosure: The gifts on this list are not necessarily the traditional ones you might think, like a massage or a cheese-of-the-month club membership. Instead, Credit.com decided to highlight some of the smartest gifts you can give yourself — tools to help you manage your money more efficiently. All of the gifts on this list (with the exception of one) are free, so you can start the new year with a new outlook on your money.
1. A planning day
Whether it’s in the days before Christmas, after Christmas or in the new year, you should take just one day to give yourself the gift of good organization. As Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for Credit.com, knows, having a plan for managing your money can not only help you earn more with it, it can also prevent you from making costly mistakes.
“Keeping your finances organized can save you a ton of money in late fees, overdraft charges and more,” Detweiler says. “Even more importantly, it can save you time — and you’ll be a lot less stressed out.”This planning day can consist of outlining your financial strengths and weaknesses and setting up things such as automatic bill pay, calendar reminders for credit card payments, or even a filing system — digital or otherwise — for your important financial documents.
OK, so maybe 2012 wasn’t exactly a banner year in your household. You didn’t put aside that extra money you wanted to save for a home or you signed up for too many store credit cards while shopping this holiday season. Don’t let it get in the way of making the positive money changes you can accomplish. Just renew a few small commitments to making your money management better in 2013, no acts of contrition required.