“A New Year is here once more,
With its visions of future promise.
The old ways passed by,
And a fresh start, there for the taking.
All is optimism;
Gloom is gone!”- Phill Harris
I bid you farewell 2015 and welcome 2016. I know old changes to new and once more it brings new hopes, desires and aspirations. It is such an excitement for everyone as the clock strikes 12 at midnight thousands of fireworks, glittering light and sparkles spread across the sky world over to have another new year to our timeline.
In most of the cultures many people pray the whole night seeking blessings from the Almighty for a prosperous and happy new year. Many people dance and party and enjoy every moment. There are but many who are busy planning in mind as what they wish to accomplish at the new beginning of 365 days.
Reading Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year Resolution that he accomplished in 2015 made me believe that if there is commitment to our goals we surely can win and reach our target. Quoting Mark Zuckerberg:
My personal challenge this year was A Year of Books — to read a new book every other week.
Reading has given me more perspective on a number of topics — from science to religion, from poverty to prosperity, from health to energy to social justice, from political philosophy to foreign policy, and from history to futuristic fiction.
This challenge has been intellectually fulfilling, and I come away with a greater sense of hope and optimism that our society can make greater progress in all of these areas.
It’s fitting to end the year with The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch, about how the way we explain things unlocks greater possibilities.
To the many thousands of people who followed along with my A Year of Books, thank you! I’ve had more great discussions about these books than I’d imagined. I’m interested to hear what you all learned along the way, and what books resonated with you most.
Great Mark! That makes you a successful man and a millionaire. Your own strength and total focus to keep that ambition going is what drives us in reaching to our promised target.
This shows we should keep our inspirations high to meet our goals. The question that arises after the promising factor of a resolution is how much do we stick to it and commit to it.
The most common reason for failing in New Years’ Resolutions was setting unrealistic goals, not keep track of the progress and most often forgotting about it. Also having too many resolutions also don’t seem to work out.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
So to achieve your goals identify the ones which you want to achieve in longer term and then break these down into smaller targets and start working on them.
You will be surprised to know that one of the most important New Year resolution that people plan and keep is to save money. At the end of the Great Depression of 1930, about a quarter of American adults formed New Year’s resolutions. It shows that money saving was one of the prime goals of people to achieve.
Let us also start this New Year with a goal to save money. Here below are 16 New Year Resolutions will help save money in 2016
1. Start by making a Budget
Budget is the foundation for all of your financial decisions. All you need is pen and paper. It is not that you need a excel spreadsheet and start like a professional budget maker. But you can start with a simple hand-written list of expenses and incomes and expand them later as you progress.
What I do is start preparing my budget plan in my diary where I can write down my expenses day wise all through the year. The most important part of the resolution is sticking and adhering to your budget. You can make small stickers and stick them on kitchen, refrigerator or your working desk so that you are constantly reminded of your financial goals and your commitment to those goals.
2. Always use cash
When you use debit and credit card for your grocery payments or while shopping you never know that you are crossing your limits of spending. Studies have shown that people using debit and credit cards spend more.
You can pay electricity bill by debit cards as most of such bills are static and you know the estimate that you have to pay such amount each month. But while shopping for other things cash is a must as when you give physical money out of your wallet you know where you are exceeding.
3. Learn to save
No one can become rich overnight. As the saying goes that “drop by drop fills the ocean” same way learn to save little by little. My mom has the habit of putting change of money in the savings box and in the end of the year she collects a huge sum which she then saves in her bank.
Similarly when shopping use coupons, look for store discounts and sales, track your expenses, and go by your budget. You will learn to save slowly.
4. Know your investments
You will be surprise to know that many among us still do not understand our investments. If you are on a home loan or any mortgage one should have real understanding of the mortgages to which we are committed. Many of us associate understanding investments and financial situation with knowing what stocks we own or how much we’ve contributed to it. It is to also know and understand topics such as where that money is invested, how much our credit costs us each year, how our Social Security benefits are calculated, and other similar financial information.
5. Learn to say No
Many a times our friends or kids pressure us to buy something that we don’t need. Or other things to spend on like watching movie on theatre or having a dinner in a restaurant or to throw a party at your birthday. Things like this come under peer pressure. Learn to say “No” when you know that your budget doesn’t allow you.
Remember your friends might be in debt too. Therefore it is no shame to say no to them. These are the little things to keep eye on when saving money.
6. Invest in your retirement
Start setting aside money for your future. It is never too early to start planning for retirement. Today no one knows what future holds for you. You may be sick, get bed ridden, or need for some important work so start saving Now.
7. Emergency fund
Starting an emergency fund can be a good New Year’s resolution. You never know what tomorrow might hold when it comes to your finances, but with an emergency fund, you can face the unknown with a bit more confidence. While some financial gurus call for you to have $500 in the bank, you may want to stash a bit more than that. $500 won’t get you far these days, especially if you lose your job. Even one or two months of your average income can go fast, so build up a fund you’re comfortable with. Bear in mind that if you have outstanding credit card debt, you might want to deal with that first to eliminate those costly interest payments.
8. Set financial goals
List your financial goals. Here are some examples: Pay off credit card debt. Save for a down payment. Pay off the car. Establish an emergency fund. Separate them into two categories: short term (1 year or less) and long term. Prioritize. Use your budget to set achievement dates or what I call dead line budget.
9. Generate side income
Picking up extra income can be a wonderful financial resolution. In a suffering economy, the peace of mind and supplemental income that comes with a second job or side business can be a great buffer against the stresses of economic strife. Even an extra hundred dollars a month can be a great way to reach other financial goals like paying down debt, making an extra mortgage payment or saving for some reconstruction.
10. Be debt-free
Whether this is a realistic and attainable goal is really dependant upon your financial and debt situation. How heavily you are in debt, what type of debt you hold (credit, car loan, mortgage, etc.), your income level, and the interest rates pertaining to your debt can all play into how quickly or how successful you are in becoming debt free.
It is often important to start with reducing credit card debt first since it will likely have the highest interest rate. Smaller debts amounts are also good spots to begin so that you build a little confidence by crossing them off your debt list, leaving you to focus on more problematic debt issues.
11. Use Apps to save money
From online budget wizards like mint.com that turn your savings goals into thermometers, to trading sites like freecycle.org (free stuff), you’ll find deep discounts on everything online, including the high speed internet service (billshrink.com) you’ll need to access them. There are many such apps that keep track of your expenses and remind you your limits.
12. Join community of savers
Don’t go it alone. Find a community of savers to help you meet your goals. These can be people at work, church (many churches offer money management classes), or online (find a list serve or forum of like-minded people). Talk among your friends as how to save money and believe me knowledge from sharing will help you a lot.
13. Maintain spending Diary
This is very important like a Budget diary as I said before. Before sleeping at night write down the expenses incurred during the day. How many coffees you had to trips out for lunch and other miscellaneous spends can take a hefty chunk out of your available cash. To really understand where your money is going, try keeping a diary and jot down any amounts you’re spending.
14. Be more organised
Be more organised at work. Start from your home itself. There are lots of areas of focus here. For example, by keeping better track of your mail, you’ll have fewer unpaid bills and late fees. By cleaning your pantry and organizing your refrigerator, you’ll have less food spoilage and waste. Neatly folding and hanging clothes will allow you to wash them less often and save money on both resources (electricity, water, etc.) and new clothing purchases. The list goes on.
15. Simplify your living
Why not simplify our living. The more material things we look to add in our life the more we have desires and wants. Like make it a challenge this year that now you will buy a new dress only on 2017 and stick to it Or you will spend less time watching TV and reduce the electricity bill. If you will look around you will see that we often spend on things we do not need. So keep life simple and save.
16. Open separate accounts for savings
Do not be shy to open separate accounts for savings. Suppose you dream to have a car, or buy a new house or you just wish to save for rainy day then open separate accounts for them and start filling it with money. Set a goal that you will put this much amount monthly into that account and will not look back to it. In this way your diversified goal into saving money will be fulfilled.
All things said on money saving resolutions remember one thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself or push yourself in reaching your goal. Also do not wash away your resolution in few months. Go slowly and increase your saving step by step. Initially if you find difficult to cut off your habit which makes you spend money then don’t beat yourself up but take it easy and do not give up in attaining your goal.
Look out for a new sun shine in clear new horizon and stay positive in your resolutions. Happy New Year with loads of savings!
New Year's resolution? “It’s a choice. Becoming rich is a conscious choice you have to make.” https://t.co/91hZRZROEm
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 30, 2015