The holiday season is behind us – and it might be hard to believe, but spring will be here before we know it. Now is a great time to start fresh or revisit the goals that were set at the beginning of the year. Many of us have already started to fall off our good-willed intentions. In fact, a 2007 study
by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88 percent of those who set New Year's resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52 percent of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning.
Instead of abandoning the goal all together, it is time to revisit your New Year's resolutions — and where many of us tend to focus, money and time. There never seems to be enough of either. So how can you maximize the money and time you do have? Whether you’re trying to cut back on spending, managing how you spend your time or figuring out how to be more efficient, here are five simple tips that can help:
- Keep a family budget. Track all purchases to compare what was allocated with what you actually spent. Seeing this information on paper can help you understand the areas where you’re overspending, and come up with a plan instead for how you can save. Not sure where to start? Try an online budgeting tool or app like Mint.
- Save on shipping. Do your homework to understand the changes with dimensional weight (DIM) weight pricing. Two global shipping companies are changing their pricing methods. This will result in higher costs for their customers. One way to save money is to make sure you’re choosing a shipping provider offering a variety of shipping options to choose from and customize – like Priority Mail®.
- Join a loyalty rewards program. Most retailers today have programs available rewarding you for being a repeat customer. Make sure you’re signed up for these programs at your grocery store, pharmacy, and anywhere else you spend money frequently.
- Create a schedule tracker. Similar to a budget, a schedule tracker is a great way to make sure you can stay on top of everyone’s schedules, plan ahead for busy days, and still tackle everything needing to get done. When you take the time to make a schedule for the whole family — either for the week ahead or the month ahead —you’re more likely to avoid surprises, like a forgotten-about trip to the dentist that can cause unnecessary stress.
- Take care of daily tasks online. You might not know about all the tools that exist to help you take care of your chores and errands online. My USPS.com, for example, is a new feature offering a simple way to manage packages. A single dashboard solution organizes your incoming package shipments, enabling you to track and manage domestic packages. You can also schedule deliveries while away from home, view packages before they arrive, receive text notifications to track delivery status of packages, sign release authorizations, or print labels.
Ultimately, regardless of what your goals are, finding solutions that work for you and your family is key to staying on track throughout the year.
John Budzynski is a 32-year veteran of the United States Postal Service and currently serves as the consumer advocate and manager of customer relations. As consumer advocate, he is the independent voice of residential and commercial customers. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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