Tips for a Money-Smart 2012

Back to the Future

Set yourself up for success in 2012. Here, the first in our three-part Ready-Set-Go! Guide for your money.

If you could have a Back-to-the-Future moment, and beam yourself back to the very end of 2010, what advice would you give to yourself then about how to survive and thrive in 2011?

You can’t, of course, but this is the ideal time—before the holidaze—to reflect on 2011, and set down a Do It Right list for 2012.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, or take more than 10 minutes. But it will make all the difference to you and your money.

  • Look back. Pull out (or click on) your calendar. What was the year like? Ask your husband, partner, BFF—what were the big hurdles, the great joys? Where did you drop the ball, what did you overlook?
  • Open your wallet. Many credit cards, banks and online services let you zoom through a full year’s worth of spending at a glance. Forget regrets. Be analytical, proactive:

    Where did your money go that you wish it hadn’t? What was preventable—or pre-plannable? How could you lay some firmer groundwork for next year?

  • Rejoice. This rocky year is at its end! Let it go. Seize this moment for a fresh start with new habits, new intentions in place for a spankin’ New Year.

Revise history. What do you wish you had done differently in 2011?

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