New Year brings about the desire to make some changes for the coming year. Do things differently, and right the wrongs, and change bad habits you have adopted. And that’s why we make New Year Resolutions. But if you are reading this now, then you have probably already broken your resolutions.
Winter is over, and Spring is here. You have another chance to use Spring as a time to bring back to life the changes you should be making in your finances. You should take advantage of this season to change your financial situation by defining your financial resolutions.
What Exactly is the Problem?
Resolutions are hard to keep. You know that. And you also need to know that you can change that. And really, anytime is a good time to make financial resolutions. Here’s the funny thing. If you are thinking about your financial situation, then you must suspect a problem.
The first step is to dig deeper and define the problem. Get down dirty and be specific. “I spend too much money“ is not good enough. On what do you spend too much money? Why do you spend too much money? You can bet it’s not all going on life’s necessities. You need to target your problem areas specifically.
How Do You Do That?
- Pull out all your check butts and credit card statements for the past 12 months. Write down and list all the charges for everything you bought other than the necessities. This information is going to be your gold mine.
- After you have made this list, add up all the expenses. You have no idea just what a revelation is about to hit you. For some, the total will be fantastic, staggering. This is for 12 months – a year of your life.
- Pay particular attention to the payments made to restaurants and fast food chains.
- Also, take a look at the amounts and the frequency of payments to convenience stores.
- How much did you spend on your home and clothing?
Knowledge is Power
Once you have all this information, you will be aware of your spending weaknesses and where they occur.
You now have the ammunition and the knowledge to start working on overcoming them. Staying away from the places where you spend too much should be a conscious decision. By merely avoiding these places, you will resist the temptation for frivolous spending and placing your finances in danger again.
With this information, you can now make your Spring resolutions. But keeping your resolutions means changing your behavior.
Failure is NOT an Option
You will fail. It’s not easy. But just climb back onto that resolution train you boarded and keep going. Fall off. Get back on. Fall off. Get back on. Dogged determination will help you succeed. Check up on yourself every month end. Make any adjustments you need.
Remember this: Putting your financial house in order and becoming debt free is a process before it is an event. Just as Spring is the time for cleaning your house, it’s also the season for getting your financial house in order.
Your Stated Resolutions
- Follow Up: As stated before, track your resolutions, write down the objective, and check your results. What are the consequences – good and bad? For example, if you’re saving for a vacation and you fall short, the consequence is you will spend your vacation at the local swimming pool, not a resort.
- Make your investing easy: Set up an account and have a certain amount deposited straight into there. Use this as an investment account. Follow up your investments to see how they are going.
- Simplify: One insurance company for your home and cars; one bank where you can pay your bill online and invest; one credit card. This not only helps you keep track of expenditure but also saves a heap of time.
- Review taxes and insurance policies. Any legal changes that will affect you? Shop around for insurance as costs have decreased over the years. It’s Spring, don’t let this opportunity pass.
You only need to spend a couple of hours on the above resolutions, and you reap the rewards all year.
Here’s a bonus: you won’t need to make these resolutions next year if you follow the ones above.