We’re almost in the roaring 2020s! If we want to live that Gatsby lifestyle it’s time to get our finances in order by keeping budgeting New Year’s resolutions. Sticking to goals can be hard but this year, you’re not alone! Read our guide to kickstarting goals with your budgeting New Year’s resolutions!
1. Clearly define your goals and break them down
The best way to start your budget off right is to make sure your goals are clear. If they’re too hard you’ll just disappoint yourself. If they’re too easy you won’t make the progress you want. Make sure your big-picture goal is achievable but still difficult. Once you have decided on a big goal, try and break it down. So if you are planning to save $5,000 by the end of the year, break it up into how much you can save each month. Keep in mind that each month will be different and budget for yearly expenses such as routine car maintenance. For more on setting your goals read this!
2. Download a good app to help you out
Why do all the work yourself when an app can do it for you? There are TONNES of apps that can help you log spending, set goals and stick to them. This important step will let you identify spending leaks and see where you’re going over budget. Check out this guide to the best budgeting apps out there!
3. Fast-track debt payoff goals
Commit to fast-tracking the payoff process. That may mean contributing an extra $50 per month to your debt bill. When it comes to repaying debt, there are 2 well-known methods to consider – the avalanche or the snowball method. The avalanche method focuses on putting any extra payments toward the highest interest rate loan first to get you saving money on interest. The snowball method suggests paying off the smallest debts first to get your motivation flowing as you can see progress being made. Most online banking apps will let you automate that extra payment so you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the year.
4. Preventative care
Save money on medical bills by taking preventive measures to protect your health. Your workplace, private or government health insurance may cover most or all of the expenses associated with routine medical visits. Catching anything serious early on won’t only improve your health outcomes, but it may also improve your financial strength by helping you avoid a pricey surgery.
Same goes for home maintenance: changing air filters, patching leaks and having your air and heating systems inspected. These changes will save money throughout the year, including on your heating and cooling bills and by allowing certain appliances and systems to last longer.
5. Do it with friends
Everything is better with friends, and budgeting is no different. Setting goals with your friends is great fun and makes your resolution a social activity! What’s not to love? Also, budgeting with a friend is great for motivation and keeping yourself accountable. Start a group chat and share budget hacks.
6. Don’t forget to #treatyourself
Budgeting can be hard, but you shouldn’t make it harder than it needs to be. Trying to save money doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of things you enjoy in life. If your budget is so strict that you can’t enjoy yourself you’ll probably end up not sticking to it. Instead, have one treat every week to keep yourself motivated. Personally, I love treating myself to an evening of wine and food out with friends, and spending a little bit of money every week keeps me motivated to keep saving.
7. Know that you will make mistakes
This one is the most important part of budgeting and took me the longest to learn. It’s nearly impossible to stick to your budget every single day, and there will be times when you make mistakes or where your motivation slips. This isn’t the end of the world, it’s progress! Don’t let one bad day ruin months of good effort.
It’s a New Year, new you and 2020 is your time to get it! The key is to trust the journey, have patience and you will find that the little bits will add up in the long term. You will get there – we promise! If you’ve got any other killer budgeting tips, comment them below.