I am sure that one of your new year’s resolution is to get physically fit, which is a great resolution! But did you resolve to get financially fit? To get out of debt and save money? In my opinion, resolving to getting financially fit is part of my fitness resolutions. Think about it, when you don’t have money problems, you sleep better, you are less stressed, hence you are healthier! So why forget about this important part of our lives and postpone it every time! Start today for a healthier future!
New Year Resolutions: How to Get Financially Fit and Save Money
Set Up Your Goals
Every resolution starts with your goal! Do you want to buy a house, get out of debt, save money, save for your kids college? All of the above? My personal goals are the following: saving for my kids colleges and saving enough money for a yearly family holiday!
Set Up Your Budget
Now you will translate your goals in numbers! You can read how to start a budget in our article! It is a step by step tutorial on how to translate your goals into realistic numbers! Since my main goals are to save money for college and for a family holiday, I will add those 2 slots in my regular budget! Let’s say I need $6,000 a year for these goals. It means I need to save $500 a month in order to reach my goal! How can I do that? How can I allocate an extra $500 a month? Either I increase my revenues or I decrease my expenses! If you had a goal of getting out of debt: then you will translate that debt into a monthly payment and now you need to figure how to pay for that!
Now that you set up your financial goal and translated it into monthly payment, you need to find that money! You have 2 options!
1- Increase your revenues!
There are several options to increase your revenue
- If your schedule allows, you can work extra hours!
- You can work from home: filling surveys, data entry, administrative tasks
- You can redeem the gift cards you got for the holidays! CardSwap website offers a great service!
- You can sell some of the gifts you got and that you do not like. I know many people do not like doing that but isn’t it better to have cash that can achieve your goal than having a gift that will sit in your closet?
- You can sell unwanted or outgrown clothes. Ebay can be useful.
2- Reduce your expenses
- You can swap your old clothes. While swapping does not increase your revenue, it will save money coming out of your pocket and hence your expenses
- Reduce your grocery bills by using coupons or buying in bulk.
- Get rid of necessary expenses! Do you have a gym membership and you don’t go to the gym! Get rid of it ! You can do your workout at home with a workout buddy!
- Think twice before buying something: Do I really need it? Don’t buy on impulse!
Get a workout partner!
It may seem funny but a workout partner will help you achieve your goals and stimulate you! It can be your life partner, your mother, dad, etc! You just need someone who will support you in your goals and help keep you accountable. Just like a fitness workout partner makes sure you don’t skip the gym, your financial fitness workout partner can keep you on track by making sure you don’t spend impulsively.
Don’t forget to reward yourself!
All work with no reward is the quickest way to ensure your efforts to save money fail miserably. While the ultimate reward is financial freedom, you do need to celebrate smaller milestones. Keep your rewards simple and inexpensive, you don’t want to blow all your progress on one reward. Think about it this way: if you were on a diet and lost that first 10 pounds, you wouldn’t reward yourself with a 7-course meal, would you? When your budget is on a diet and you are trying to save money, get creative with rewards! Instead of a day at the spa, look up some fun DIY spa day recipes or buy the inexpensive items you need to do it at home.
Getting financially fit and resolving to save money is a great resolution that will help you for many years to come. The best part is, you can start any time. Every day is a new day!
What are your financial goals for this year? What will you do to help you save money?