It’s that time of the year again when the calendar psyches you into a sense of renewal, fresh starts, and a future of success! If you struggled financially last year, start this new one off right! Create your own, simple, doable, Financial New Year’s Resolution and look forward to a bright new year!
We all know that New Year’s Resolutions tend to fizzle after just a few weeks. Unexpected things happen, we are busier than we expected, our resolve is weaker than we expected… Don’t let this happen to you this year! By taking baby steps towards progression, you won’t burn out as soon as people who try to change their world overnight. You might even want to come up with a twelve-step New Year’s Resolution – a baby step for each upcoming month of the year. (Make a January Resolution, a February Resolution, etc.)
Take some of your vacation time to sit down and work out a doable budget. Look back at the previous year and see where you went into the whole, how you could have avoided it, and what unnecessary expenses you had. What could you do differently? Start with minor changes (unless you’ve got a rock solid resolve) and plan to improve little by little each month. (Remember, baby steps!) So, for example, if you tend to eat out too much, just cut down your weekly trips by one or two trips per week. Each month wean yourself off a little more, and before you know it, you’ve conquered your problem!
Recognize that a lot of money goes down the drain because of careless shopping. Take the time to look through grocery ads. Price match at stores that will let you. Use coupons. Look for sales. Buy off-brand items. (Sometimes off-brand is actually better!) It will take patience and practice. But if you can learn to shop smart, you’ll be amazed by how much money you can save.
Cut the Truly Unnecessary
Let’s face it. There are some truly useless things that we buy or spend money on that you simply need to cut out. Your little puppy-dog does not need a new outfit every month. You do not need a pint of ice cream with every meal. You do not need a zombie apocalypse protection kit. Just stop it now.
When it comes to things as intangible as personal resolve, you may need some moral support. Make a deal with your spouse, a friend, neighbor, or roommate. Let them punish you if you mess up. Let them reward you when you do well. Make them your shopping-help hotline if you ever feel temped to make a debatably unnecessary purchase. You can also turn to your bank for advice. The professionals there can help you better understand finance, budgeting, and money management.
Let this New Year, be a truly brighter one! Have confidence that you can and will work through your financial problems and enjoy a richer future!