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If you haven’t already discovered this yourself, we have bad news. New Year’s resolutions generally don’t work. Many experts believe that a better way to start the New Year is with a to-do list. It should be both discrete and actionable as suggested in an above paragraph. The items on your list also shouldn't take very long. Then, as you tick them off one by one, you should be able to see a nice improvement in your finances. Having said that, here are five things you could put on this year's to do list:Get a record-keeping system. The best of these are Quicken and Mint. However, there are other good applications such as Mvelopes, Spendee and and Budgt that you could use on your favorite device and become a better financial manager. Learn one new thing every week. What’s a debt-to-income ratio or a price-earnings ratio? How much life insurance do the experts say you should have? What's a 529 plan? The more you learn about financial topics such as these, the better you will become at managing your money. Increase your 401(k) contributions. Your employer may have increased the matching contributions it makes to the company’s 401(k). Add as much money to the plan as you can afford that your employer will match. This is not only a good way to save for retirement but will also save money on your taxes. Get a better credit card. If you're using the same credit card that you've had for years, you're probably not getting the maximum amount of rewards. The card issuers have been increasing their rewards programs in recent years. Go to a site like lowcards.com or bankrates.com and see if you can’t find a card with better rewards and that suits the way you spend. You might also get a second card from a different credit card issuer so that you won't be card less in the event your primary account gets hacked and canceled. Comparison shop. Whether it's your automobile or homeowner’s insurance policies, your cable provider, your entertainment or your health insurance, you need to shop around. However, don't think that you have to do this all at once. You could devote January to comparison-shopping for your automobile insurance, then February to shop for health insurance on healthcare.gov. Then in March, you might review all of your television costs to see whether you might be able to cut the cable and go to a cheaper streaming device like Chromecast or Apple TV. April might be a good time to look at how much you're paying for utilities and if there could be a more energy efficient solution that would save you money … and so on.