Well it’s that time again, where many people sit down and decide which New Year’s resolution they will set as the clock strikes midnight to bring us into 2018. According to Google search data pulled by iQuanti, getting healthy and organized are the two most searched New Year’s resolutions followed by living life to the fullest, learning new hobbies and spending less while saving more. It’s good to see that a financial-related resolution was in the top five for this year. While the housing market has improved and the unemployment rate is at historical lows, there is still much we can do to better the financial picture for ourselves and our families.
Some view it as cliché to make a resolution for New Years, it’s hard to blame them as so few of us are able to keep to what we resolve each year. According to the Psychology Journal in 2014, only 46% people make it past the first six weeks of the year before breaking their resolution. This doesn’t have to be the case. There is no reason to not make 2018 your year! Get your family involved and make it a joint effort. You can also share your resolution with others, have someone keep you accountable. If you decide that you want to set a budget and save a specific amount each month, see if a friend would like to do the same. At the end of each month you can check in with one another to make sure you are each on track.
Another important task to check off at the start of the New Year is planning a budget for the entire year. This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Decide with your partner and family members what the big expenses should be or will be for 2018. Will you need to buy a new car? Take a vacation? Fix the roof or replace the air conditioner? By planning ahead and setting aside money in advance, these types of expense don’t hit your pocketbook as much as they would if approached without a plan. This can be a great learning opportunity for kids as well.
Don’t allow mistakes you made in the last twelve months to have an impact on your goals for next year. Allow yourself to mentally wipe the slate clean and start fresh when the clock starts midnight. Use previous stumbling blocks as your new goals for 2018. If you had trouble with credit card debt, stress at work, or gained a few extra pounds; involve those challenges into your New Year plan. Setup a timeline for paying off debt, schedule time to de-stress and get away from the office, meet with a personal trainer or create a fitness plan that will work best for you. Don’t forget to write down what you want to achieve and place it somewhere you’ll see it each day. If you aren’t reminded of your goals then it becomes much more challenging to achieve them.
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer.