I absolutely love the New Year because it’s a time to reflect on the last year and dream about the next. What will you celebrate about your 2015? What will you achieve in 2016? It’s so exciting but with so many goals you might be thinking, “How will I find the money to do everything I want to do?” So glad that you asked! I have some extremely effective personal finance New Year’s resolutions for 2016. And the best thing is that they won’t cost a thing!
By Ashley Feinstein
Personal Finance New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
Stop beating yourself up:
Have you ever listened to the way you talk to yourself? If you are beating yourself up, keep reading. Scolding and chastising ourselves is one of the surefire ways to derail our goals. Believe it or not, we are on our own teams. We can work with ourselves toward the things we truly want.
That being said, we all make mistakes. When you do, it’s important to forgive ourselves and move on. Keeping this resolution will make all the others possible!
Open a high yield savings account:
If you are using the savings account connected to your checking account, I can guess with reasonable certainty that you probably don’t have much saved in there. If you do end up saving something, it’s most likely not in there for long. How did I know? You’re not alone!
Check out Parkinson’s Law. It’s important to get your savings out of your account so that it’s completely separate. A high yield or high interest savings account offers higher interest rates than your typical savings account but even more importantly, it separates your accounts so that you can’t transfer money over on a whim.
Keep a money journal:
Writing down everything you spend and earn might sound too simple to be life-changing but it really is! When we write or type out everything we spend and earn, we get extremely conscious about where our money is going. Until we know what’s actually happening with our money, we can’t make honest decisions about where it will best serve us.
Keeping a money journal actually puts us back in control of our spending. We are no longer dazed and confused when the credit card bill comes in. I promise it won’t be as painful as you think.
Create a happiness allocation:
What’s a happiness allocation? It’s my way of saying budget. I think happiness allocation is a better name for a budget because what a budget does is it help us allocate our money in the ways that make us the happiest. While we often think of budgets as restricting, they are actually one of the most liberating and freeing tools out there.
Use the data you gathered from your money journal to estimate your expenses for the next twelve months. If you take your annual expenses minus your income, is there enough money left over to save for your goals by the date that you hope to achieve them? If you’re not sure what your goals cost, read on to the last resolution.
Put a price to your dreams:
If you don’t know how much you need to save in order to live your dreams, how will you know how to get there? List out everything you want to accomplish and the date you’d like to accomplish each goal. Then it’s time to do some research. How much will each goal cost? Don’t be afraid to get creative. One of my dreams is to live in another country for a month each year. If I rent a house or apartment for the month, I’ll be able to save up for this goal a lot more quickly than if I decide to buy a home somewhere else. I could even do an apartment swap with someone in a country I’m interested in visiting. See what I mean? It’s okay to come up with a less expensive way to get there. I call this being fabulously frugal!
Don’t try to take on all your resolutions at once. You have all year! Start with the first to give yourself time to build the new habit. Then you can work your way down the list.
What do you want to accomplish in 2016? What are your personal finance New Year’s resolutions for 2016? We’d love to hear about them!
Ashley Feinstein founded Knowing Your Worth where she works as a certified money coach. Ashley demystifies the world of money and personal finance for her clients whether they are creating a financial plan, negotiating compensation or paying down student loans. She offers one-on-one coaching, workshops, and a 30 Day Money Cleanse. Ashley and her work have been featured on Real Simple, NBC News, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, DailyWorth, Learnvest, Levo League and GoGirl Finance, among others. Ashley worked in the financial services industry for more than five years: first as an investment banker and more recently in corporate finance. She graduated with a bachelor’s in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Image via Atlantic-Pacific.