As the end of a year approaches thoughts tend to turn to the year gone past and how to make the next year even better. This is where New Year’s Resolutions start to form. These are usually broad such as ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to get healthy’; which are both great to aim for but need some structure behind them to make them successful. For example, to lose weight will you join a gym and go 3 times a week or decide to go for a walk on your lunch break? Maybe you want it to be more diet based so limit yourself to a certain number of treats a week or eat a certain amount of fruit and veg. These are more measurable and therefore easier for you to track whether you are sticking to it.
The same can be done with financial goals. If 2013 hasn’t given you the savings that you wanted or you didn’t quite manage to pay off your Credit Card, 2014 could be the year that you turn it around.
54% of consumers are thought to be considering a finance based resolution for next year suggesting that money is a main focus in many people’s lives. With a number of finance related goals that could be made, such as saving more money, paying off debt or spending less, it is not surprising that many people have a financial target in mind and there are things which can be done to make these easier to achieve.
Firstly, as mentioned earlier, it is important to make your goal measurable. This way you can watch your progress which is sure to motivate you to continue. If your resolution is to save more money you could set up a standing order to go into a savings account each month. Just decide on how much you can reasonably save; you don’t want to end up putting away more than you can afford and having to dip into your savings. You can always add more if you have some money left over at the end of the month!
If your resolution is going to be to spend less you can think of different ways in which you can do this. For example, if you usually buy your lunches daily you could decide to make your lunches at home instead. On average, a shop bought lunch is around £3 so over the week this could be costing you £15 so there are definitely savings to be made through buying some ingredients for a week’s worth of sandwiches instead! Motivate yourself further through treating yourself on the last day of the month if you stick to your lunch plan! The same can also be done for coffee shop bought drinks.
Giving yourself a deadline is also a good way to keep your resolution on track. If you resolve to pay off your Credit Card in 2014 why not work out how much you can pay off each month and how long it will take you? If you work out that you can pay it off in 5 months then given yourself the beginning of June as a deadline. It is far easier to be motivated if you know where the finish line is!
One of the main things to remember is if you find yourself moving off track just do what you need to get back on again. Don’t be too hard on yourself as this will only lead to frustration. Just remember the reasons that you set yourself the goal and that should be enough to motivate you.
Happy New Year!!!
By Sasha Davison
31st December 2013
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