Budgeting should always be the centerpiece of your financial resolutions
Did you make a New Year’s resolution about seven weeks ago? For 2021, many Americans are making the resolution to adopt healthy habits – concerning their bodies, minds and finances.
As the following Statista Survey shows, out of all US participants who said they were making one or several New Year’s resolutions, 44% wanted to exercise more, while 42% planned to eat healthier in 2021. More popular resolutions for the upcoming year also circled around improving one’s health, with weight loss and quit smoking being among the favorite answers.
A smart one for you might be to get your finances in order. While the stock market has rebounded and unemployment has declined, there is still much we can do to better the financial picture for ourselves and our families. There is every reason to make 2021 your year to accomplish what you set out to do.
Create a Budget
The centerpiece of a financial resolution is to create a budget for the entire year. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Decide with your partner and family members what the big expenses are for 2021. Will you need to buy a new car? Take a vacation? Fix the roof or replace the air conditioner?
By planning ahead and setting aside money in advance, these expenses don’t hit your pocketbook as hard as they would if there were no plan. A family budget is a great learning opportunity for kids, as well.
Don’t allow mistakes you made in the last 12 months to affect your goals for the coming year. Allow yourself to mentally wipe the slate clean. Use previous stumbling blocks as your new goals for 2021.
Perhaps you had trouble with credit card debt, stress at work or gained a few extra pounds. Involve those challenges into your New Year’s plan. Setup a timeline for paying off debt, schedule time to de-stress and get away from the office, meet with a personal trainer or create a fitness plan that will work best for you.
Don’t forget to write down what you want to achieve and place it somewhere you see it each day. If nothing reminds you of your goals, then it becomes much more challenging to attain them.