Revamping your Finances – Money Habits to Adopt and Leave Behind in 2018
As the year comes to a close, most of us think and consider what we want to change in ourselves by 2018. We begin to make resolutions for the different areas of our lives and hope that these changes in mindset will also bring make us better people next year.
So many people vow to lose weight and adopt healthier eating habits. Others resolve to spend less time on social media and more on books and physical interactions. Meanwhile, there are also people who’d like to change the way they handle money in 2018.
Whether you have a new financial goal this year or just want to improve your financial track, now is the best time than ever to start revamping your finances. Which habits do you want to break and what new financial perspective do you want to adopt? We’ve rounded the top 6 for you.
1. Start Building an Emergency Fund
Guard your cash flow by setting up an emergency fund. No matter how huge or little income is, when an unexpected event arises, and you have no financial buffer, your budget can quickly get ruined. The emergency fund helps you navigate a difficult financial time without compromising other particular areas of spending like food, education, and healthcare. To begin setting aside for an emergency fund, find a fixed amount that you can tuck aside each month and let it go untouched until an emergency occurs.
2. Stop Impulse Spending
Spending on impulse can create instant dents and leaks to your budget, and before you know it, you’ll have to live on what’s little that’s left until the next paycheck. Obviously, impulse spending is a sure recipe for paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.
If you tend to spend on impulse, take back the reins. Bring just enough money to cover your grocery or shopping trip, and don’t bring the plastic when you can help it. Stay away from sales if you won’t need the item anyway because sales make you spend even if they claim to help you save money.
3. Automate Your Savings
Unfortunately, many people still fail to save because “something always comes up.” If this resonates with you, you need to guard your savings so that the money remains to be saved, not spent. The best thing that you can do to ensure you’re saving on a regular basis is to automate it. Arrange with your bank to automatically transfer a certain amount from the payroll to your savings account. This way, your savings is set aside before you spend the rest of your money on wants and needs.
4. Stop Thinking Retail Therapy is the Cure
Shopping does bring a certain kind of high. Shopping releases happy hormones that combat the feeling of frustration and dejection. So when one is broken-hearted, dismayed or unhappy, a trip to several outlet stores should cheer her up.
Retail therapy does make you happy for a short while, but it does not bring long-lasting happiness. And when you realize just how much you spent over a petty quarrel with your partner, you’ll probably feel even worse about the financial damage. Calm yourself, eat some ice cream and take a walk. There are better and cheaper ways to lift up your spirits.
5. Start to Put a Goal On It
Here comes in the “why” of doing things. Without a goal, what you’ve just saved can easily be spent on a moment of recklessness. If you’ve been saving for the down payment of your dream home at the end of the year, you probably wouldn’t say “yes” to an expensive getaway because the new home is your priority. It is your goal. Make goals for every reason why you’re savings: to save for education in five years, save an anniversary treat, save for a vacation with a family, save for a home renovation project, etc. When you have the goals and set your mind to them, you know where you stand when something comes up that might tempt you to spend.
6. Stop Making those Debts
At this commercial age, incurring debts is easy and normal. But, debts can feel like a burden. It’s like a huge dark cloud that stops you from making real positive financial progress. This year, start crushing debts and stop making new ones. You will need to look back at steps 1-5 to direct you to the path of being debt-free. But apart from saving and stopping yourself from impulse spending, you need to look into money-making systems that will help increase your household income, and thus allow you to pay a more significant portion towards your debts
We are all looking forward to a happier, healthier and better New Year, but we also don’t need to wait until its January 1 to start implementing these practices. You can begin ditching bad money habits and adopt great money perspectives today.