“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” -Oprah Winfrey
Every year, more than half of the country sets at least one money related New Year’s resolution, yet before summer even starts, those resolutions have been pushed to the back burner! Sometimes, it’s due to unexpected events that throw us off, or sometimes it’s lack of motivation. More times than not, the cause for not achieving our financial goals is due to the lack of preparation, to make sure we stay on track throughout the year. Today, I’m going to share a few useful tips (plus a few extras) that will help you prepare to achieve your financial resolutions this year.
1) Review current apps on your phone
Immediately scan the apps on your phone, and get rid of things that make it easy for you to spend money. Some popular apps are Shopstyle, Zara, Amazon, Etsy, Starbucks, Wish, and Groupon. These types of apps make it extremely easy to scan, swipe, and buy; which is a “no-no” when it comes to achieving financial goals. Getting rid of the apps doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy a little bit of retail therapy every now and then, but it discourages you from doing it regularly and irresponsibly.
2) Update alerts with your financial institution
Review your financial goals and tailor your bank alerts to fit your new needs. For example, get alerted when your balance goes below a specific amount to avoid bank fees, or be alerted when bills are due in five days to avoid late payments. The alerts need to align with your money goals and make sense to what you are trying to achieve. Don’t set too many alerts because it can cause you to become disengaged and annoyed with the new change.
3) Set up automation
Whenever you can put your money goals on autopilot the better chance you have at sticking to your goals. There are two options for automation; you can chose to do both or start with whichever one is going to be the easiest for you to transition to. Option 1: Automate your savings. Review your budget and goals, and set it up to have your money automatically transferred to an account NOT linked to your regular checking account. Option 2: Automate your payments. This one is sometimes hard to do if your budget is extremely tight or if you have an irregular income. If that’s the case, start with one bill (usually the smallest) and work your way up until you can have them all automatically paid. This takes time, but will allow you to avoid late payments and fees.
A few extra tips….
- Update passwords. Connect them to your goals to keep you engaged so that every time you log in, you’re forced to be reminded of what you’re working towards.
- Organize financial documents. An organized space (or in this case, documents) creates an organized mind.
Make 2017 the year of NO EXCUSES!!!
Here are the most common money excuses:
- Excuse #1: I’m too busy! It’s no secret that our lives are busier than ever these days. Between work, family, friends, and everything else, the last thing we want to do is sit down and budget. The word budget often brings out many feelings, and excitement is usually at the bottom of that list.
- Excuse #2: I make too much money. We all have this magic number in our heads that signifies “we made it.” That number tells us that all of our hard work has paid off and now we get to live the life! For some, that’s $100,000; for others, it’s $1 million. Whatever that number is for you, don’t ever get to the point when you feel that budgeting is no longer necessary.
- Excuse #3: I don’t make enough. I’ll never forget one of my customers from the bank who worked at El Pollo Loco, earning a minimum wage salary. He would pick up extra seasonal jobs when available as well. What was interesting was that he had over $70,000 in his savings account!
Excuses 4-10 range from “I don’t want my kids to suffer” to “I don’t know where to begin.” Each excuse comes with a list of actions that you can take plus a resource guide at the end to help you kick the excuses to side and begin achieving your financial goals. Download a FREE copy here.