New Year’s 2018 – 3 Money Resolutions for You!
Happy New Year! Are you ready for 2018?
I am. More than ready. I have a lot of things I’d like to accomplish this year. The number one resolution being posting in this blog regularly throughout the year. I did well posting every day in November but then let myself get distracted throughout all of December. But now I’m back with hopefully daily posting.
Still, the New Year is often a time for reflection. For new planners, new bullet journals and new goal planning.
I’m going to guess, if you’re reading this blog, that managing your money better is one of your goals for 2018.
But, as I have mentioned previously, sometimes getting a hold on your finances can be overwhelming. You don’t know where to start, you feel like you’ll never get your debt under control, and you have a hard time not spending impulsively.
I’m here to tell you that you can do this and I will help you.
So, let’s break down three easy ways you can start getting a grip on your financial situation in 2018.
1. Hold a “State of the Financial Union” talk with your partner.
I’ve mentioned this before, but communication is key when it comes to a healthy relationship. And communicating about money is even more important. So, take an hour with your spouse, crack open a bottle of wine, order your favorite takeaway and pull out the checkbook and your credit card statements.
Even just coming to terms with what you owe to who and where your money is going right now can be enough to kickstart you into action.
2. Start Saving for a Rainy Day
If you’re like me, you might be pretty happy with how much money you’re making, you might not even have any debt, BUT, you might be a little bit more of an impulsive spender. That’s definitely me. I tend to buy stuff on Amazon without really thinking things through or even whether or not I really need that item – just that I want it. And I want it now.
But one of the things I’ve found is that saving money can also give me the same impulsive feeling that spending money does. Sometimes I want to buy something and instead of hitting “buy now with 1-click” I’ll instead move that same amount of money into my savings account. With banking apps on my phone, it barely takes any more time to transfer the money than buying the thing in the first place.
One thing that this technique is great for is that morning coffee run. I’ve talked about making my own iced coffee before, but it’s winter and I don’t necessarily want to drink iced coffee and sometimes the easy of the drive-thru at Starbucks calls to me. So, if I manage to convince myself to make my own coffee and/or drink the coffee at work I can move that $6 I would have spent at Starbucks over to my savings account. Done and done.
3. Make One Small Goal
Have you ever heard of SMART goals? It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound.
Using the SMART template, make only ONE money goal for yourself. Let’s see how we can make goals that fit this template.
Here’s an example of a SMART goal:
I will bring my lunch to work 4 days a week in the month of January.
This is both specific and measurable – 4 days a week of bringing your lunch, pretty specific.
Is it achievable and realistic? I think so. But maybe you decide, you know what? Three days is more achievable. Change it. Make it something you can accomplish.
Is it time-bound? Does it have a clear duration? In this case, yes, the month of January is our time line. Once you’ve been working on your goal for a while you will hopefully find it easy to continue, but if it’s truly too much work for you, it has an ending in sight! You can do anything for a month!
The New Year is a great time for taking stock of your life. It’s also a great time to make new goals and resolutions for yourself. But in order to make sure you’re not just paying lip service to your new goals, let’s make them SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Sit down with your spouse, take stock of your finances and figure out what needs to be done and where you can improve. You can always be doing something just a little better than last year.
It’s never a bad idea to start saving for a rainy day. While the turn of the New Year can bring optimism and hope to lots of people, the truth is, we don’t know what’s in store for us in 2018. We can’t know. But we can take the time to prepare ourselves for anything. And if we do that, then maybe we can make this year our best year ever.