Resolutions are like diets and budgets. Everyone, or at least most people, make them but seldom keep them. I have been guilty of not following through on many a budget, diet, and resolution. What to do?
I had a doctor tell me one time that if I was going to keep a diet, that I should stay on top of the diet Monday through Friday and then on the weekend I could eat what I wanted. I did that for a long time and what I found was that over time, even though I could eat whatever I wanted on the weekends, I did not want to eat those things. Having said that, I still do not eat whatever I want on the weekends but I still have a problem with portions. Something that maybe I can work on in the New Year.
Of course, budgets are not something that you can do five days per week and then spend however you want on the weekends. I know that I can spend all my savings over the course of a weekend if I do not refrain from it. So, what are we supposed to do about it?
Instead of making unreasonable resolutions that we probably will not keep anyway, try to make progress in the area of your finances this next year.
If you have never written goals, sit down and write some for the next six months, two years, and five years. You can read about this in an earlier post titled “GOOAAALLL!!!”
If you have never written down where you are spending your money in a spreadsheet or accounting ledger, then take that step so you can see where the wasteful spending is happening. You can read more about this in the post titled “Why Use Excel For Your Finances?”
If you have never saved money in a bank account, commit to opening a bank account and putting $10.00 per week in the account. Remember that most banks require $100.00 to open a savings account.
If you do not have an emergency fund, start one. You do not need to have $1000.00 in the account tomorrow but it is something you can work towards.
If you have had trouble paying your bills on time, commit to paying every bill on time every month.
If you have been keeping a balance on credit cards, commit to not using the cards anymore and start paying them down.
If you have not created a will, make one – for your family’s sake.
It’s amazing what can happen if we simply take one step towards doing something that we have never done before. Before you know it, you will be completely on top of your finances and feeling better all along.
Welcome to 2014. A year to make small changes in our lives that can lead to great gains.
Happy New Year.