No one will miss 2020, and if 2021 starts, we all have our resolutions in mind. January starts on a blank page where the possibility of a year lays before us. Every year, one of the most common resolutions of 2021 is to gain better control over finances or get out of debt. Here are 5 ideas for small things you can do to help start your finances off fresh in the new year.
Automatic Withdrawal, Friend or Foe?
Somethings are the easiest when we don't have to think about them. This is why automatic payments are so important. Gyms we don't attend anymore earn $25 a month because the money just quiet leaves our bank account, and for some reason can't be bothered to cancel. Assess your situation. Are you paying for things you don't use? You should get rid of them.
Remember that a tendency to forget about automatic withdrawals these things can be used in our favor, not just against us. Setting up an automatic contribution to your savings account removes the need to have a battle of self-control. Even sneaking small amounts away 30 dollars at a time really adds up, as your gym knows. It's also why contributing to IRA or 401k is so effective. You'll get used to your contribution. It will become painless.
Get Financially Literate
Finance is far from the most exciting thing to read about but among the most transformative in terms of how it can affect your life quality. Getting financially literate is a continuous practice that takes time. But each time you learn about a new aspect of your finances, your literacy grows.
Knowing the rules of finance is the first step to being successful with your finances. There is no shortage of great books to read on every subject within finance, from debt consolidation to portfolio management. Whatever your financial goal, arm yourself with the information you need to achieve it. Getting financially literate often includes seeking the advice of experts.
Reroute All Negative Thoughts
Along with intention setting, it is crucial to understand that negative thoughts turn into negative expectations and encounters. Creating a habit out of positive thinking will train your brain to perceive everything as good, allowing you to believe in your dreams and then having them become reality. There are even studies showing links between positive thinking and good health. Next time you find yourself getting annoyed because someone drank the last drop of coffee at work, grab the tea and give something new a chance.
Create a Finance Calendar
The start of the new year is the perfect time to build a financial calendar that can do many things for you. You can set all your critical dates on this calendar, like filing taxes, meetings with financial advisors, quarterly updates, and more. This calendar can also contain the due dates of monthly bills, track savings, or set a timeline for paying off debt.
Set a budget
As part of the new year, it's the perfect time to start budgeting toward it. Creating your first budget, if you haven't done it before, may seem intimidating. There's a lot to learn and a lot to pay attention to. Just the thought of finance can be stress-inducing. A budget doesn't have to be an all-encompassing data sheet that tracks everything. A simply constructed budget that breaks down income and expenses will be an informative and critical tool to help you figure out how to better use your money.
Savor the Moment
Not all attempts to save money need to feel like sacrifices. Taking the time to value what you do have goes a long way towards being satisfied with it. More than that, valuing what you do and who you do it with brings even deeper satisfaction—learning to value what you have rather than what you could buy will likely save you money and make you happier.
Getting your finances in order and building them up is a journey of a thousand steps. It will take time, and it will test you- that doesn't make it any less worth the effort. Finances have too much control over the average person's life and getting them in order is a large step toward living a freer life.