Best Ways to Make Sure Your New Years Budget Resolution Sticks in 2017
New Year’s resolutions are come and go. Some resolutions work and some don’t, the most two common resolutions that are made seem to be losing weight or maintaining a proper budget to save money in the new year or perhaps getting out of debt. Whatever form of budget resolution you have made it can seem overwhelming or impossible.
You are not alone in this goal; we all strive to make positive changes physically, mentally, and financially in 2017, but the ultimate question is how? It may seem like a great goal to put down on paper but the steps needed to actually achieve the goal are completely different.
With a fresh start this year that is full of so many amazing possibilities, let’s get this started right shall we? We can break last year’s habits and make some new ones that are within your means and realistic, we just need some baby steps to help us stay on track with our goals for the year.
Everyone needs an Emergency Fund
Life happens – and the best way to start with your budget is to have an emergency fund in place for those “oh sh*t” moments that happen when we least expect it. An emergency fund should realistically cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but sometimes this number can scare you.
An easy goal to start with is at least $1,000 as an emergency fund, this can be easily met with a short term goal set in place such as saving $125 a week for 8 weeks or $250 a week for a month. It would be nice to start off the year with a little safety net in case something were to happen unexpectedly.
Cut out unnecessary spending
Feeling guilty of over indulging in certain activities or spending? Don’t worry you’re not the only one! It is easy to overspend without actually realizing how quickly it goes which is why having a budget in place will only make your life easier but you won’t be shocked when you see your bank balance after a weekend of unexpected partying…
We all have particular vices that we need to get through the our work weeks, maybe that’s your daily frappacino at the local coffee shop or going out to lunch everyday with co-workers. Whatever it is, it can add up to some numbers that might actually shock you if you don’t have a budget you stick to each month.
An average person spends about $10 a day on either coffee or lunch which can add up to close to $50 a week and a monthly cost of $200. For someone who may be on a limited income or never have set up a budget that is a lot of money that you could be saving if you brought a lunch to work or made coffee at home.
- Bring a lunch to work, with 1 cheat day where you can go out to lunch
- Make that frap or coffee at home, make it a reward to go and get one from the coffee shop
- Buy bare essentials at Walmart vs. Target, you seriously will save a ton
- Look for coupons online for things like oil changes or car washes
- Going out with friends? Again choose 1 day you do this maybe on a Friday and pick a budget for the night so you don’t overspend
- Make most of your meals at home, you will save so much by not eating out and it is way healthier to eat at home
Set up a Monthly Budget
This is scary for some to do, seeing your actual income vs. bills per month can be quite intimidating but can also help you realize how much you can save or how much you have to work with to pay off some debt. There are plenty of online tools to assist in budgeting as well. Try Mint.com, or use the following tips to setup your own budget.
- Step 1: Note your net income. The first step in creating a budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in
- Step 2: Track your spending
- Step 3: Set your goals
- Step 4: Make a plan
- Step 5: Adjust your habits if necessary
- Step 6: Set up a calendar with all of your due dates/pay days so you know to check in
Set up a Reward to achieving your long term goals
When it comes to saving or budgeting, small rewards help motivate a lot of us. For example, let’s say you pay off one of your credit cards or follow through with your monthly budget and end up saving a comfortable amount, it is nice to have a goal set up that you’re trying to meet once completing your checklist.
A common goal people set when saving money is saving for something that matters to you – whether it is a new car, a home, or even planning a vacation. Having something to look forward to can only heighten your motivation to save and stay on track with your budget.
My suggestion is choose the vacation! You work hard this year and save then you deserve to getaway and have some you time or spend it with loved ones, but do it as life is too short.