The New Year is upon us. And that means party poppers, champagne and Auld Lang Syne. It also means committing yourself to a hundred and one New Year resolutions – from kicking the credit card habit to saving for a new car.
But if you really want to succeed at keeping your New Year resolutions, these are the best ways to do it…
Be realistic with your budget
We’ve all made that resolution before: This year, no more silly spending. Sounds good, and we make it in good faith, thinking that this year we’ll absolutely refuse to spend out on anything we don’t really need. Then Christmas is barely over when we spot that cool jacket in the January sales. And before you know it….
A better resolution would be: Set aside an amount for inessential purchases. It’s a lot more realistic to make room in your budget for treats in advance, and reward yourself for saving in other areas.
Don’t make a million resolutions
You’re going to go on holiday. You’re going to buy a car. You’re going to sort your pension out. Chances are, as the new year hits, you’re full of ideas of what you’re going achieve. But if you resolve to do a hundred different things, you’ll probably never achieve any of them.
If, for instance, you’re going to start saving for that deposit on a house then this needs to be your only goal. You find it easy to manage your money to meet your goals if you only have one, and arrange your finances around that. This means, straight away, you know how much you need, and set a savings target that you can reach even on a tight month.
Don’t save for the future if you need money now
Having said that, one of the biggest mistakes we all make with our New Year resolutions is to commit to the far-flung future.
So, you may want to resolve to save every penny for retirement, or stash the cash even when you’ve still got outstanding debts. And while both are absolutely necessary at some point, you don’t want to plan for the future at the expense of today.
You don’t want your New Year resolution to ignore your current circumstances. If you tailor your saving plans around the present, it’ll give you on a stable foundation, and you’ll find you have a lot more to save in the long-run.
Use all the help available
It’s easy to try and manage everything all by yourself – but even your most hardened resolution will come under fire over the course of the year. If you’re serious about getting your finances in order, this year don’t do it all by yourself; get a lending hand.
There’s tons of help out there for you. You might want to commit to a savings schedule, so ask a friend or relative to help you stick to it. If you’re just looking to manage the household budget, you can get apps on your smartphone take give you total control. Or you may want to head over to money saving forums and advice sites for more tips.
Of course, if you’re genuinely concerned about your finances, now’s a great time to seek out financial advisers and similar professionals.
Whatever you do with your money, you don’t have to do it alone.