5 Easy Financial Resolutions You Should Adopt Anytime of the Year
2020 is right around the corner! Festivities and celebrations aside, have you thought about any new year resolutions?
Hitting up the gym? Reconnecting with your secondary school buddy over the weekend? Or even putting together a 2020 budget and not planning to bust it?
New year resolutions are not for everyone; we may have the best intentions at the start of a new calendar year where we feel super-charged to achieve the targets set. Falling off the bandwagon and falling behind in accomplishing those goals is not unusual, rest assured.
The Bear would like to stress that becoming financially healthy should not be seen merely as just a new year’s resolution. It’s a lifelong habit and can only reap you great rewards in the future. Adopting a sound financial lifestyle should not be tacked to an arbitrary date but practiced on a daily basis.
Here are five personal resolutions you can apply to put your financial house in order – regardless of anytime of the year.
1. Always pay yourself first
‘Pay Yourself First’ is a tried-and-tested proven technique that is effective and can easily help you accumulate funds.
This method requires you to treat your investments (such as any P2P lending activity you are invested in) as the first bills that need to be prioritised before the rest of your bills are lined up. Keep in mind that items that can enrich you will take the first priority before you start paying for items like your utility bill.
It teaches you to focus on building your wealth and still stay responsible towards your monthly commitments simultaneously.
Here’s a tip: learn to automate – and simplify – as much of the process as possible. In an ideal setup, the transactions will be lined up monthly so it requires little to no initiative once it is set in motion. This way, you might just surprise yourself at the savings you have made without feeling the chore!
2. Set aside a splurge fund
A splurge fund comes from knowing where to draw your boundaries. While it’s important to service your loans and take care of other financial responsibilities, cutting out on all “unnecessary” spend rarely works well; no one likes to feel trapped!
After you have prioritised your budgets, give yourself the freedom to spend a little – on items that are not vital necessities.
Place a small portion of your remaining monthly wages into things that you enjoy; it could be a shopping trip, a new pair of sneakers, or even a fancy meal with your family. You could even set up a savings account dedicated for this splurge fund, and spend only within this pot of money. If there is a healthy balance to your fund at the end of the month, consider moving it towards your emergency fund and prepare yourself for any potential rainy days ahead.
The Bear believes that everyone deserves a little treat once in a while as a reward for being the financially prudent person that you have been striving to be.
3. Marie Kondo your important documents!
Yes, you need to get organised – and that’s the official word. Whether you’re going down the Konmari way of cleaning up your stacks of papers or even bribing your spouse to help you, eventually you’ll need to knuckle down and get things tidy.
Unearth every container, shoebox, and tin biskut you have and start reviewing your paperwork. Apart from making sure that all your receipts in order (think about the tax breaks you can enjoy from your annual tax submission), you’ll also need to ensure that all your personal particulars are updated in your insurance policies, properties, billing, and more.
Don't forget to shred and recycle papers that you are absolutely certain you do not need anymore.
Yes, the Bear does believe that spring cleaning your mess can help you spark joy.
4. Download a budgeting app
If you are a typical modern, connected citizen, then having a budgeting app at your fingertips might just be the best way forward to track your expenses and debts. The Bear understands that merely asking you to budget is insufficient and unappealing, hence having an app to serve as a spending journal might just be more convincing.
Keep a close tab on your daily, weekly, and even monthly spend and just as importantly, any unexpected expenses that might crop up. A good budgeting app will be able to help you segment where you spend your hard-earned moolah. Dining, recurring subscriptions, domestic bills, are just a few of your monthly staples that you can track with a budgeting app.
There is no magic bullet for living within your means but having a budgeting app might just help simplify this goal.
5. Take a good look at your life goals
Do not be daunted! The Bear knows that setting financial goals can be boring, and you may have already set out to visit your mamak to drown your sorrows – and procrastinate. Hence, we did not spell out “financial goals” here.
Make some time over your teh tarik and think about what you would like to achieve further down in your life. If you are now 21 years of age, what does your life look like when you’re 40? Or if you’re now 31, what type of life will you be leading when you are 65?
Consider your short-term and long-term dreams. Does Machu Picchu feature in your top travel destination? Do you wish to retire at 50 years young? How about owning your dream home and putting together an education fund for your children?
Nothing is impossible as long as you give yourself the opportunity to achieve it. You can make your dreams come true.
We are all capable of adapting to our surroundings very well with amazing results – even when it comes to managing our finances. And changing your mindset to navigate the financial waters should not be attached strictly to the start of a new year.
Make the positive changes today and watch your wealth grow!