As this year begins, most of us are looking back on the previous year and wondering just where all that money went. There was a recent Fidelity study that shows how about a third of about 2,000 people plan to make a money resolution in 2019. Their main intention came out like saving more money, paying off old debts and spending much lesser. But just like every other new year’s resolution, the intention of making change comes to an end by the first week of January. We do understand just how hard it is to keep to these resolutions, so here’s a 12 months plan that could possibly hike up the chances of sticking to the resolution or at least getting better financial habits to reach those financial goals eventually:
January: Clean the slate.
The easiest resolution, which one could follow would be to forgive one’s previous mistakes. This process of letting go of the past while keeping in mind the mistakes made is important. Keep these three questions in mind while understanding our mistakes: what did I learn, will I do it differently and if I did it didn’t make the mistake then, would I have made it in the future on a larger scale. The answers you find will help you realize just why you need to keep track of your finances.
February: It’s indulgence time!
It’s not enough to improve your finances yet lose your loved ones over not getting them a Valentine’s Day gift. But make sure this gift is bought not just with love but also with a budget in mind. Every goal is worth pursuing as long as there are rewards to get at the end of it. Another time, to reward yourself, would be when you reach a savings goal or and then you can treat yourself and your loved ones in celebration for reaching that milestone. Or from your savings, you could set aside a small value for every mini milestone you reach to do something fun.
March: Your job – your pathway
It’s time to start concentrating on getting that raise at work; prepare you for that opportunity that’s around the corner. We should start looking for ways to impress the boss and moreover win over your manager. And it should be started at the beginning of the year to show results in your performance instead of around the time that the promotion comes around. Keep in mind a goal salary increase so that it motivates us to achieve our financial goals and ask for the right raise.
April: Have a spring clean-up – of your budget!
It’s time to set a strong budget that can enable you to find where you can concentrate on getting savings. An easy way, to do, would be to implement the PERK method; to review costs to find which can be “postponed”, “eliminated”, “reduced” and “kept”. Reducing non-essential and recurring expenses would lead to saving that money and after a while you’d realize that you don’t need to make that expense after all.
May: “Low cost” is the new mantra.
Try to find creative ways to spend time with friends that don’t involve spending a lump sum. Try to involve your friends with the ideology so that collectively you work towards saving and act as a good influence on each other. It’s the experience rather than the place that makes memories and enjoyable times so keep that in mind the next time you plan a get-together.
June: Progress, is it working yet?
Comparing ourselves to our own personal best is better than to others. Since this is the goal is outcome based, you should look at what you have achieved and work towards that instead of checking on others around you; each one is running their race. So being envious of your friend who is accomplishing what you desire isn’t going to get you anywhere, instead be proud of what you’ve achieved.
July: Routine – it’ll get you there.
The way, to make good financial habits to stick, would be by making it a routine. The best way, to develop having daily money minute to think out your finances, would be to do it on a daily basis. This can be done by associating non-monetary habits to monetary ones. For example, paying your monthly rent should be done along with putting a $20 bill into a savings account or after watching a weekly TV show, a check on your credit card transactions online can be done to make sure you aren’t overspending. With repetition, the new habit could become a routine.
August: Tax prep early to be cautious
Tax time is not only hectic, but also heartbreaking to realize just how much you’ve spent. This month is slow financially so you rather are organized and ready for that tax return ahead of time to not miss out on anything, yes another reward for sticking to the plan. Organizing also reduces stress, and since you do have free time, so it’s a win-win situation.
September: Student Loans, preparing to say goodbye.
With all the extra savings, you’re gaining; it’s time to pay off that student loan that has been eating at you for years. Even little amounts put in to reduce the debt helps but make sure you have enough for emergencies and retirement. You can’t pay off one debt by making another. Also, keep a check on just how much difference it makes to your finances, it’s usually a morale boost. Debt reduction is like financial freedom says Goldman, and freedom is the something to work for.
October: Networking, the numbers game.
Networking is essential in improving reputation, create awareness or just have the right contacts. Networking events can be easier if give you a numerical goal instead. You could set a certain number of people to talk to before going to your next professional function and increase that number as time passes, even if it means talking to the person for just 5 minutes.
November: Cash, please.
Credit card debt another part of the season but it doesn’t have to be. Try to pay in cash instead of using cards as much as possible. Using the cash induces you to spend less. Try leaving the cards behind. No better way to not use a card than to not bring it along.
December: The gift of knowledge.
You can find your news to save this season by spreading the gift of knowledge. By asking family members and friends about how they manage to save and share some knowledge of your own. Not only would you get an insight to someone close to you but you could also end up starting a tradition, a saving tradition!