Here we are again, looking at the start of a new year! There is always an exciting feeling in the air around this time. Although people often set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and many resolutions go unrealized, the sheer possibility of starting something anew generates an energy that is electric. Rather than be like everyone else, and let this opportunity fall away for yet another year, take it upon yourself to set realistic goals for yourself in the New Year. Oftentimes, although you can make changes in any aspect of life you want, it is useful to think in terms of your finances, since it is a tangible area of life with very clear metrics. Also, improving your finances will have a ripple effect through many parts of your life. Here are some important financial resolutions for 2017…
Avoid credit cards
One of the biggest traps that people get themselves into, financially (and especially young people), is credit cards. While there can be a benefit to using a credit card sparingly and paying it off right away, this is usually not how the story goes. Credit card companies make exorbitant amounts of money. And it’s all coming from somewhere, right? Sometimes it’s just better to not even have the option to use a credit card, as the temptation to use it irresponsibly only needs to take over for one day to get you into real trouble. This year, take it upon yourself to give your old credit cards the scissors, and certainly don’t take it upon yourself to sign up for any new ones.
Cut down on costly resolutions
Did you know that January is the single best month for gym membership sales? Yet, despite this fact, gym attendance never sees a proportionate rise. The reasons for this are obvious. However, it points to a larger trend of people using the new year to justify costly decisions that are made hastily, and usually after a few glasses of champagne. If you have a resolution to go to the gym more, or simply be more active, wait a few days and find a gym membership that actually works for you, rather than luring yourself into a nice, luxury contract that will drain you for the next year. This goes with any other costly resolutions. This isn’t saying NOT to make these resolutions, but be responsible about how you are spending your money in the new year.
Act like the wealthy
If you want to be wealthy, then you need to imitate the actions of the wealthy. This doesn’t mean setting yourself up with a luxury lifestyle and simply faking it until you make it, all the while keeping your bank account in the red. No, instead, this means seeing how successful people take steps to protect their finances and be responsible with their money. Most rich people do this with wealth management services that cover many different aspects of financial planning, which puts you at a disadvantage. However, their finances are also probably a lot more complicated than yours, which means you can probably do most of the key aspects of wealth management yourself!
Make the personal changes that are holding you back
The truth about changing your financial situation is that there are no simple steps that will universally get everyone to financial prosperity. Indeed, the fact of the matter is that the things that are in your way of making financial progress, such as saving money, eliminating debt, and making better career moves, are probably personal issues that you need to solve before moving forward. How do you move past these problems, though?
The example we will use in this situation is addiction, which is a behavioral disease that affects millions of people. Addiction is a clear case of a personal obstacle that will get in the way of financial prosperity not only directly, such as spending money on substance abuse and losing jobs over it, but also prevents you from taking the necessary steps towards better financial independence. In order to actually make financial progress, an addict will need to eliminate the throes of addiction from their life. This is an extreme example, but an important one to make. Indeed, the steps for moving past many life problems can be taken from the same steps that are required for addiction recovery.