Plan for New Year's Resolutions Early

This year plan for one of those New Year's Resolutions early.

If you've ever put "Buy a House" as a New Year's resolution but you're still renting, I'm talking to you.

This is when you should start working on that resolution, not in January. This is the time of year most people spend way too much money, use up all their savings, and run up credit card balances. Those are not the steps to prepare for buying a house.

In case you've ever wondered about holiday spending, here's some interesting statistics:

  • Almost 22% of people start their holiday shopping in October

  • The average consumer spends $1,226 on holiday gifts

  • That number doubles with household incomes over $100,000

  • 68% of consumers pay for holiday purchases with savings and 55% pay with credit cards

  • 5% of you will BORROW money from family or friends to pay for holiday shopping, while another 5.5% will take out a personal loan

  • Payday loans will be used to pay for 5.4% of holiday purchases

  • On average you'll spend $200 on decorations, $50 on flowers and postage, and $75 or more on a Christmas tree

  • Most of you will spend at least $100 on a gift for yourself

  • Single shoppers will make impulse purchases 45% more often than married shoppers

What does all this mean to you? Well, if you want to buy a home, don't start thinking about it in January when you are making resolutions. Start thinking about it now before you use up your savings and run up your credit card balances. And, certainly don't be part of any of those 5% groups who borrow money to cover the holiday season.

Here are a dozen money saving ideas to help you spend less and finally be able to make the "Buying a House" resolution be one you'll keep.

  1. Make a detailed budget and stick to it.