It’s new year’s resolution season and January at my gym is a zoo
The “lose weight, be healthy” crowd has taken over. Parking, getting a lane in the pool, or getting a spot in my Pilates class takes on battle tones. While I applaud the good intentions, I do know that by the end of the month, parking won’t be an issue and I won’t be sharing a lane in the pool.
Good health includes your money and overall financial management
Having a healthy relationship with your money is part of maintaining good health. So why not just be healthy and go to the gym all year instead of making extreme resolutions that usually end up like the new workout clothes you’ve stuffed to the back of a drawer?
Like your exercise program, be sensible with your money all year round. Do away with the resolutions that set you up for failure, stick to the basics ALL year! Learning to live within your means is a sustainable goal.
5 ways to build a healthy relationship with your money
- Have clarity. Know where your money is going, how much you’re spending and how much you’re earning. Make your budget your BFF and track your money.
- Live below your means. If you are carrying balances on your credit cards, then you are spending more than you earn. If you are spending all that you earn, then you are not saving. Which leads to #3.
- Save. Life happens. No matter how stable life looks now, things can change. Jobs, cars, health, the economy. Build 6 months of living expenses in savings. It’s a necessity. You know that life-altering events happen and you need to be prepared. Who remembers the recession of 2008-2009 when so many people lost their jobs and no one was hiring. Learn how to save money from salary.
- Pay yourself first. Retirement will come faster than you think. Try to invest 20% of your paycheck every month into a retirement fund. If you really can’t do that much, start with something and keep building up to it. Here’s a good online retirement calculator to give you a rough idea of what you might need.
- Self reflect. Understand what emotions and unconscious beliefs drive your money behaviors. If you are spending to mask your happiness, or to build your self esteem you’re bound to make bad decisions. Managing beliefs and thoughts can help you take control of your finances and be smart about using money for the valuable tool that it actually is.
Resolve to not make a new year’s resolution that is too extreme to keep because you’re just setting yourself up for failure
Think of all the new year’s resolutions that have failed. Instead, decide what is manageable for you and commit to it. It takes three weeks to make a habit. Just get to the basics when it comes to your money and be sensible all year, every year. Stick to the basics of sound financial management.
You’re going to make mistakes and hopefully learn from some of them.