To A Bright Future! Financial Reads To Jumpstart Your Year

The year has turned and we’re all in the mood for preparing for the year ahead, finding ways to improve life, especially our finances.

What better way to start the year by learning something new? While everyone seems to be all about saving time lately, learning something new, on the other hand, will always be a great investment of time. You can learn something new either by taking classes, watching something informative on TV, reading blogs and websites about things you need to know, or through choosing books that would enrich you. Credit Sesame has a great list of five books crucial for personal finance improvement in Credit Sesame Roundup: Reviews of Personal Finance Books. Going through Credit Sesame’s list would help you see whether a particular financial book would be worth reading.

Most of us need to adjust some of our spending habits — this is particularly the case for those of us who have trouble on this front. US News brings us 4 Effective Ways To Manage Your Spending. If you need to learn new ways to rein in the spender in you, this could help. If you already know the principles in this article, then this is a great reminder. Need a stronger message to drive home the point? Nerd Wallet brings you 4 Of The Worst Shopping Habits That Will Let You Go Broke. The title may sound pretty stern, but strong medicine does help cure a stubborn illness. The article itself, however, promises to be a light, fun read.

Yet another admonition to the shopaholic, here is Budget Rehab: Prioritize Your Purchases. No, we’re not singling out shopaholics here (although it’s a good thing to know if you need to manage a shopping addiction); it’s just that great finances always start with disciplined habits. Rein in the spending, and you’ll find that there’s more money to go around than you originally thought. This article helps us see that some of the things we spend on are not really “needs.” Rather, these are things that our budgets can probably do without. It also provides a helpful section on ways to cut costs.

Lastly, when you’ve shored up your finances by learning how to cut costs and by changing bad shopping habits, you may want to look at how to produce some extra income. Would you consider starting a business? Here’s a primer on starting your own venture: The Best Ways To Establish Your Own Business. Is a business good to have in this economy? By all means, yes! In fact, now may be the best time to start one, because it’s wise to have alternatives to a regular career. Truth be told, it was in the Great Depression that many new industries were started. In fact, some of the billion-dollar industries and successful companies that we know today, like IBM, GE and General Motors, were born during the Great Depression. So who says that you can’t make it if you launch a startup in 2011? You’ve got a shot — just find your passion, recognize a need and fill it.

The start of every year is both an anxious and exciting time. It all depends on how you see things. Circumstances may be tough, but they can change. And it all starts with a decision. Decisions start with thoughts and ideas that you bounce around in your head. Our picks at The Smarter Wallet have all been chosen to help you take a positive stance at life. Whatever you’re going through right now is basically a starting point to improve. If, on the other hand, you’re on a roll, then our picks should help you avoid the rough patches. So read, learn, smile, put on your favorite sunglasses, as, “The future is so bright, you gotta wear shades.”

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