Many of us start out the new year with great intentions. We’re going to ‘lose weight!’, ‘get organized!’, ‘save money!’, and ‘spend more time doing what we love’. A few weeks, or days, later, as life begins again to make its demands on us and our schedules, we start to slide and then we give up altogether on those resolutions. In fact, research has shown that the average person gives up on their New Year’s Resolutions on January 12th, which has been dubbed ‘Quitters Day‘.
We feel that one of the biggest reasons people give up on those resolutions is that they did not put a plan in place to stay on track, to motivate themselves when the goal became more difficult, and to recover from setbacks along the way. Therefore, we are publishing a 12-month plan to help you get on track to financial stability and growing your wealth, setting reasonable expectations and taking into account periods of potential setbacks. Each month, we will provide tips and ideas that you can put into action in short chunks – helping to motivate you toward your goals for the year.
January: Recover and Set Goals.
In a recent blog, we discussed the Holiday Spending Hangover, and how to recover from it. Now that the holiday season has passed and those credit card bills have come in, it is a good time to focus on recovering if you went over budget, and setting more realistic spending goals for the coming year. You can’t undo what has already occurred, but you can avoid digging a larger hole. As January comes to a close:
- Make a plan to pay off the total balance on your credit cards, or as much as possible, over the next few months, and don’t neglect the cash you’ll need on-hand for monthly expenses.
- Think about your goals for the year: where do you want to be 12 months from today? Are you saving for a large investment such as a home, car, or college? Do you want to increase your retirement contribution? Do you have enough in the bank for 3 months of living expenses and/or an emergency, such as a home or car repair?
- Accomplishing new things is hard work. If you make it fun, celebrating your big and small steps along the way, you’re more likely to keep going!
Check back next month for tips on how to begin putting some of your savings towards building wealth for the future.
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