2020. A new year, a new decade, a new you.
At least that is what we’ll all be aiming towards. Trying to meet those resolutions set to improve our lives and not make the same mistakes as we did last year, or the year before that. If not planned properly resolutions can be exhausting, especially when we start to feel they are unreachable.
For many people a key resolution each year is to finally sort out their money and savings. Feeling secure, setting financial goals, and taking control of their budget. Easier said than done though, right?
Wrong! All it takes to start things off is a bit of organisation and motivation on the road to breaking the payday-to-payday cycle and getting ahead financially. Here are some questions to consider as you start.
How do you spend your money?
If I you were asked how much you spend on petrol or groceries each week, would you know for sure? If you’re guessing then there’s a big chance the reality could shock you.
Tracking income and expenses is the only way to truly take control of your money. Having a clear idea of exactly how much you spend on groceries, bills, or the ‘occasional’ night out can help you cut back and save more for the things you really want.
Set an intention to keep an eye on your expenditure and aim to alter it accordingly. It will help you improve poor spending habits, pay off debts and stick to a budget.
What are you saving for?
Saving money is easier when you have a reason to do it. Have a goal in your mind – something that excites you, something that you really need, something that will keep you goal focused and encourage you to stick to your budget.
Saving for something big? Set yourself attainable milestones to keep yourself on track. Knowing how much you need to save and the time-period you have to do so also gives you a gauge on how well you’re doing.
What can you do to make your resolutions stick?
First of all, begin this new year positively, setting inspiring intentions, for both the short and long term, not random resolutions! Turn those ideas into achievable goals and don’t beat yourself up if you fall a little short. It doesn’t matter where you come in the race, just that you put in the effort and tried your best – every little helps.
Here are a few ideas for little but significant changes that could help:
Break a Vice
For some it’s a chai-spiced latte from Starbucks, for others its a new pair of shoes every fortnight. It all adds up. Eating out is also a huge dollar muncher – if you need a quick fix to save money, look at these treats and try to scale them back.
Talk About It
Talking about money is enough to make most people squirm, but sharing your goals with a friend gives you an instant motivating cheerleader and someone who can help keep you on the straight and narrow.
It was New Years Eve, you were fuelled by optimism and a few glasses of wine, and you resolved to save $1000 every month!! Well… We love the optimism but not quite reaching that big number could be enough for you to quit your saving goal altogether and feel like a financial loser. Instead maybe start with a much smaller goal. If you conquer that, you are winning! Feeling comfortable? Increase your goal little by little.
Record As You Go
Write it all down. Use a pen and paper, spreadsheets on your computer, or through the many apps on the market – it doesn’t matter how, just make sure you keep track of your financial goals. Planning income and expenditure can avoid financial emergencies in the long run and leave you with less stress to enjoy 2020 to the fullest.
So, that doesn’t sound too hard. Welcome to the land of tracking your finances you saving superstar! We think you’ll like it here.