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Starting 2013 on the Right Foot

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 12:00:00 am

It’s January 2, 2013. Do you know what that means? It means you’ve still got 363 days (OK, fine, 362.25 days) left to complete those New Year’s resolutions you set. You did set some, right? If not, go ahead and set them now – better late than never.

To help you on your quest to fulfill those pesky goals, we did a little research to find out what some of the most common resolutions are (thanks, Health.com and USA.gov). We’ve picked five of the most common resolutions, and now we’re here to help you see how they best fit into this better life we live in OKC.

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Resolution: Save money
If saving money is at the top of your list this year, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Throughout 2012, OKC found itself at the top of many lists in terms of annual earnings growth, personal income gains and more. And when it comes to cost of living, we consistently rank low – as in we have one of the lowest costs of livings out there. So lucky for you, OKC gives you the perfect opportunity to live it up for less.

So let’s all start 2013 on the right financial foot. Grab a pen and paper (or, if you’re like us, make a handy-dandy spreadsheet) and work up a budget with a fantastic plan that balances both fun and savings. There are tons of online budget tools available out there on the world wide web if you need a little assistance getting a good plan going. Then stick to it.

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Resolution: Volunteer to help others
Oklahoma City is famous for its friendly people and vibrant community spirit. That spirit resonates throughout the year as OKC’ers rack up nearly 25 million volunteer hours. During 2011, OKC ranked No. 22 of the 51 largest metro areas in terms of number of residents who volunteer. It’s no wonder – OKC has so many great groups around town that could benefit from your time.

Wondering where you can help? We suggest you check out the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Also, many of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s more than 5,000 members are non-profits. So check out the Member Directory to find one you can help!

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Resolution: Go back to school
Did you know that there are 18 colleges and universities and two community colleges in the OKC metro area? It’s true. Maybe you’re looking to finish your degree; or pick up some new skills; or just keep your brain sharp. No matter what your goals are, there are incredible education choices at your fingertips in Greater Oklahoma City.

Work downtown and want to take some classes? Check out the OKC Downtown College. This consortium of five colleges and universities offers convenient classes whether you’re looking to pursue a college degree, improve professional skills or just take a fun class.

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Resolution: Take a trip
Everyone needs a vacation every once in awhile. But no one said you have to travel to Timbuktu to get away from it all. If you’re looking to stick with two resolutions in one (save money AND take a trip), we suggest a lovely staycation. Get some help planning something spectacular and relaxing with VisitOKC.com. This fantastic tool has great suggestions for things to do, places to stay, where to eat and more. Who knows – you might just discover a hidden gem right in your own backyard.

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Resolution: Reduce, reuse and recycle
Looking to be a little greener in 2013? The City of Oklahoma City makes being a good environmental steward easy and convenient with weekly curbside recycling. Just get a little blue recycling bin, fill it with your permitted recyclables and leave it out the same morning as your regular trash service.

You can also try your hand at composting. We did a post on this fantastic green act last fall so check it out and get started!

But being green goes beyond recycling bottles and cans. With an influx of Christmas gifts, there are likely things around your house you are ready to part with to make room for the new loot – but what’s the green way to “dispose” of those? Well, for starters, don’t put them in the garbage if you think someone else might want them. For instance, unwanted books (and periodicals, videos, cassettes and CDs), can be donated to the Metropolitan Library System. All you have to do is drop them off at any of the MLS’ 18 libraries. Your donation is even tax-deductible! If there are other housewares or furniture that are cramping your style, consider having a garage sale or donating those items to an organization like Goodwill.

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