| Hi Taylor
- I'm thinking about my New Year's Resolution and hoping to make it
something money related. Not really sure where to start, so do you
have any advice for a resolution that might not be too hard to keep?
Hi Melissa - January must be the most fiscally responsible
year of the month, as people recover from the holidays and try to
stick to resolutions. February is usually a different story, so let's
go over some tips if one of these options is something you can keep
for an entire year.
Drop an expensive habit. The key to setting financial goals
you can stick to is eliminating broad, vague objectives. We all
want to save more and spend less, but what does that actually look
like? If you go over your spending habits and target something that's
pretty costly, you can do some pretty quick saving. If you currently
smoke cigarettes, your health and bank account will be delighted
if you stop. If you buy an expensive coffee and a danish each morning,
see if you can find a cheaper option. You probably have dozens of
expenses that don't ruin you financially, but you'll have a much
heavier wallet as soon as you cut them out of your life.
2. Pay attention to your retirement. If you already have an
IRA or a 401(k), you might not be worrying about your savings. However,
by either rolling your 401(k) over to a more promising IRA or rebalancing
the account you already have, you can make a quick financial change
that will immediately improve your financial outlook. Once you've
taken that step, you'll hopefully become a little more involved
in the investing process and take more of an active role in your
retirement savings. If you don't have a retirement account already,
I think opening one should absolutely be your resolution.
3. Commit to spending-free days. Like I said, the big goals
can be difficult. Funding retirement requires extra money management,
and changing your habits takes serious discipline. Sometimes the
best resolutions are the ones that don't seem too daunting but have
the potential to grow into bigger life changes. If you commit to
not spending any money one day a week, or one weekend a month, you
don't have to embrace a huge lifestyle shift. It can just be every
other Thursday, or targeting a weekend when you know you don't have
any social obligations. When you force yourself to plan a day in
which you can't spend money, you have no choice but to think of
free activities and planned meals at home. With any luck, the behavior
will become habitual and spending-free days will start filling up
| Hopefully one
of these options will work for you, Melissa. And, if you're feeling
determined, maybe you could try all three. You can never have too
many good resolutions. Happy New Year!
© Taylor Kovar
December 21, 2018
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