When 1 January rolls around, most of us are a little worse for wear: we’ve overindulged, under-exercised and are more than a little tired. It’s the same with our finances – many of our wallets take a financial overindulgence through the festive season.
Fear not – with a few simple commitments, you can get keep your finances in shape and fighting fit for 2019 in no time.
Deal with debt once and for all
Merlin famously said to Arthur in The Sword in the Stone that ‘the cure for fear or sadness is to do something’. Debt’s crippling power often comes from the shame and procrastination most people succumb to when they are in debt and, like unwashed dishes, the problem grows the longer you leave it.
True wealth cannot happen with debt in the mix, so your first resolution should be to get yourself to an expert as soon in the new year as possible. Be transparent about what you owe, what you make and how you spend. Just the act of talking about it and getting an action plan from a professional will fire you up to slay the debt dragon in 2019.
Try to invest every month
Most savvy people interested in wealth creation are already saving each month – but are you investing with the same regularity? Forbes magazine points out that most bank accounts earn less than 1 percent interest per annum, while inflation is 2 to 3 percent. That same money put into an investment can potentially earn ten times that. So how do you invest as often as every 30 days?
Luckily, this is the 21st century and, yes, there is an app for that – several in fact. Ask around with money-savvy friends to see what they use, or create a recurring calendar item in your calendar to remind you. Try something out, see if it fits and keep on trying.
Write down everything you spend – and get the family to do the same
This one is incredibly powerful. We all operate under some illusion of what we really spend money on and a wake-up call can be just the thing your January budget needs. Create a note on your phone or buy a notebook and jot down every single thing you spend money on and try to get your spouse, kids or flatmate to do the same. Just this act alone will make you spend more mindfully – which often means less.
Try a one week – or one month – cash detox
Just like the detox plans many of us go on physically, your money can also benefit from a cleanse after the splurges of the festive season. Use your handy notebook or phone note from the previous resolution and calculate what you spend in a week. Now, draw that money in cash. We can be very flippant with our finances when they are as intangible as swiping a card. With physical cash it’s easier to truly picture your wealth and how you’re stewarding it.