Swap Overwhelming Financial Resolutions for a Smart Money To-Do List

Woman at a laptop
Woman at a laptop

A recent online poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that decreasing debt was the No. 1 New Year's resolution for 2011, with credit score rehab, boosting savings and reducing dependence on credit cards running a distant second, third and fourth. However, at least one money expert, Reuters' Linda Stern, suggests that we ditch the whole concept of these financial resolutions in favor of a flat-out personal finance to-do list. Because a simple task list is less time-consuming and more concrete, Stern says it's more likely to get accomplished than sweeping financial resolutions.

And I have to agree with her; last year, inspired by The New York Times "Your Money" columnist Ron Lieber, I took a whole day off work as a Fiscal Health Day. This was a dedicated day when I devoted a full set of business hours to taking care of those oh-so-easy-to-put-off tasks like calling my insurance agent to review my coverage, reviewing my checking account statements to find those recurring subscription fees I no longer use, and shopping my savings account interest rate against others on the market.