Suze Orman Says Don't Save Your Resolutions for January -- Do This Instead

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  • Many people make a list of resolutions to start working on each January.
  • Rather than do that, one financial expert thinks you should focus on closing out 2022 in a stronger financial place, such as by paying off debt.

She makes a really compelling point.

If you've ever made a list of New Year's resolutions, you're surely in good company. And if you've ever failed at those resolutions, hey, the same holds true, and you can always try again next year.

Now there's nothing wrong with resolving to do better in the new year. That could mean eating more nutritious food, engaging in more self care, and staying in closer touch with important people in your life. It could also mean taking steps to improve your financial picture, like paying off credit card debt and boosting your savings.

But if you ask financial guru Suze Orman about New Year's resolutions, she thinks they're somewhat oddly timed. In fact, she insists that a much better time to resolve to improve your finances is none other than the holiday season.

Focus on the near term, not the new year

The start of a new year often prompts people to aim to do better for their personal finances. But Orman thinks people should take a different approach.

In a blog post, she writes, "It's always been odd to me that people save their financial resolutions for January. I think the best time to commit to a financial spending goal is before the temptation becomes strongest. Set your holiday spending goals today -- before the holiday marketing frenzy kicks into the highest gear."

She certainly has a point. Many people resolve to get out of debt when a new year begins, or to do other great things for their finances. But this year, rather than wait to go that route, why not pledge to employ a savvy spending strategy during the holidays so you can close out the season without any debt?

That way, you won't have a credit card balance hanging over your head in the new year. And you won't have to deal with the negative repercussions of having one -- think accruing interest and potentially hurting your credit score.

Of course, you could also pledge to spend less in the new year. Cutting back on spending is a pretty common resolution.

But how much temptation do you really have to spend money in January versus, say, late November and December? The end of the year is when retailers tend to put out tons of deals and the pressure to spend tends to mount. So that's really a good time to work on limiting your spending.

A great thing to do for your finances

Avoiding credit card debt (or any debt, really) during the holidays could save you a lot of money and set you up for a financially successful 2023. So it pays to heed Orman's advice and focus on money matters now rather than wait for a new year to kick off.

Starting off a new year with a pile of debt and a lower credit score can be extremely stressful. And you deserve better. So before you start hitting those holiday sales, think about what you can truly afford to spend and pledge to stick to that limit. You'll be thankful you did come 2023.

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