Leisure

Tackling New Year”s Resolutions on a Budget

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1. Get Fit: Gym membership specials are designed to bait the guilt-ridden. Don”t get sucked into paying 12-months worth of dues. Instead, consider these frugal fitness tips from Fitness Magazine to get in shape on the cheap.

2. Eat Healthier: Eating healthy doesn”t always mean spending more on food. Sites like CouponSherpa.com devote entire sections to natural and organic foods, and smaller “whole foods” chains like Sunflower Market usually have good deals.

3. Get Organized: Much of the stress we endure on a daily basis stems from a lack of organization. Simply straightening your house, cleaning out your car and reorganizing your file cabinets can help you feel better prepared for other daily tasks.

4. Give Up a Bad Habit: If this is the third consecutive year you”ve committed to stop smoking, you”re understandably frustrated and in need of a fresh approach. If pricey patch programs haven”t worked in the past, check out the “Best Apps to Help You Quit Smoking” for a high-tech alternative.

5. Manage Money Better: Spending less, saving more and paying down debt top most people”s New Year”s resolutions. If coupons aren”t a part of your purchasing plan, consider using your smartphone to help you snag discounts. Downloading a mobile coupon app can help you save on everything from groceries to sporting goods.

6. Spend More Time with Family: Consider technology when looking for cheap ways to connect with out-of-state family. Replace phone calls with video chat on Skype, and enjoy the benefits of seeing your parents more than once a year.

7. Help Others: If you want to volunteer but can”t find the time, start small by picking up trash at your local park or washing your elderly neighbor”s car. Then use websites like United Way to learn other available volunteer opportunities in your area.

8. Find Love: If you”re lacking in the romance department, open yourself up to online dating. Sites such as Match.com and eHarmony promote various New Year”s specials. Test out the service for free during the first three months and get your money back if you”re unsatisfied with the service.

9. Learn Something New: With many online courses dedicated to foreign languages, art history and economics, you can embrace the inner scholar easily from the convenience of home without spending a lot of money. MITOpenCourseWare offers free lecture notes, exams and videos on subjects ranging from architecture to athletics.

10. Travel: Dreams of seeing the world can be quickly put on hold when financial situations get sticky. Start small with a trip to a nearby city or look for airfare specials on destinations experiencing their “off season.” In addition to travel coupons offered by many airlines, hotels and car rental services, you can follow travel brands on Facebook or Twitter for exclusive discounts.