‘New year, new you’
‘2015 – this will be your year’
‘365 chances to make your dreams come true’
By John Littleproud
If you’ve been bitten by the philosophical New Year’s bug then you’ve probably got a mental list of life-changing resolutions set to turn this year into THE year.
Whether it be travel, a new car, a house deposit or retirement, the vast majority of new year’s resolutions all have one thing in common… they require some serious cash.
And while financial resolutions are great in theory, research suggests that less than a measly 10% of us will actually succeed at making them stick!
Considering monetary goals can often take years to achieve, it’s no wonder so many of us throw in the towel as quickly as we throw back the champagne on NYE.
But the good news is it’s not impossible to make 2015 the year of doing. All it takes is 3 simple steps and approximately 66 days to cement your new financial habits.
Notepads at the ready, here’s the secret to New Year’s resolutions with serious staying power!
- Get real
The most essential part of our 3 step plan is all about turning those ‘pie in the sky’ statements into achievable, honest goals. Instead of being put off by the years it might take to achieve your goal, break it down into a short-term plan and focus on the next 12 months only.For example, if ‘save for a house deposit’ has been collecting dust on your to-do list for the past few years, it’s time to get specific about how much you want to put away over the next 12 months. After working out a realistic budget, you can finally put a dollar figure on what you can afford to save and end up with a simple, realistic short term goal such as ‘bank $15,000 by the end of 2015 toward a house deposit’. Nothing says serious goal setting like a dollar figure and a timeframe!
- Put pen to paper
In 1997 a Harvard study showed that out of a single MBA program, only 3% of students had written down their career goals. Ten years later, a survey of the same class found that those 3% of students with written goals were, on average, earning 10 times as much as the other 97% of their class!Putting pen to paper helps you visualize and clarify your goals and how you plan to get there. Using the prior example, scheduling a monthly savings or budget review and documenting your progress will help you identify if you’re on track with your end goal of $15,000, or if you need to adjust your budget in the interim to achieve success by the end of the year. Tracking your progress helps to make your goals measurable and keeps them front of mind, allowing you to stay motivated and celebrate your successes along the way. Tangible, visual motivation can be a very powerful tool!A spending tracker can also be a great tool to keep an eye on where you cash is going and identify opportunities to save a few extra dollars. We recommend Track My Spend.
- Set and forget
Once you know how much you can afford to be putting away, set automatic transfers between accounts to streamline your savings process. Keep in mind that while these days moving your money is as simple as swiping your thumb, the rise of mobile banking apps can wreak havoc on your savings account.To keep your hard earned cash tucked away, make sure your savings are invested in an account you can’t access through internet or mobile banking or at the very least, are separate to accounts that you access online regularly. The inconvenience of having to go into a branch to move your money is a great way to ensure your rainy day dollars stay put! Out of sight, out of mind is the key concept here.
So many of us start the year with the very best of intentions and a bucket-load of enthusiasm but once the rush of our day to day routine kicks in, our resolutions are kicked to the curb. By setting realistic, specific goals, writing them down and streamlining your savings, you’re setting yourself up for New Year’s success!
If you need a hand to set your goals in motion, our team are ready and waiting to help you on your way. Just give us a call on 07 4638 1155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.