It’s a new year! A new chance to kick your old bad habits to the curb. It’s a time to start fresh and show the world what you’ve got to offer! What are your goals for the New Year? Is it to go back to school to get that degree you’ve been dreaming of? Or are you planning to travel more this year? Is it to loose that extra 10 lbs. you’ve gained over the holidays? Or what about getting yourself into financial shape? It’s time to put that credit card away, stop overspending and starting saving in 2017! Consider me your new coach. Hi, I’m Jessica, nice to meet you ☺
I challenge you this year to take a leap of faith and get on the savings bandwagon with me. We are off to a great place- you won’t want to miss this train.
Before we begin, I want to ask you a few questions. Do you think that your finances are in good shape? Where exactly are you in your saving journey? Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years? Do you foresee yourself buying a new car, purchasing your first home, paying off your mortgage faster, sending your kids off to college, or are you working on becoming debt free? Whatever the case may be, how do you plan to get there?
Getting into good financial shape means that you are starting to pay off your debt (credit cards, school loans, etc.), putting some money aside for savings (your emergency fund), as well as starting to invest for your future.
In order to whip you into the best shape possible, there will be three character traits that you will need to possess in order to succeed.
Getting your finances in order will take a lot of sacrifice. It will not be easy and at times it will make you want to quit or give up. Just like when you are working out and trying to loose weight, it sucks the first few months and you have to work really hard at it (even when you don’t see instant results). But over time if you stick with it- it will get easier and you will build momentum.
You need to be determined to make the change. If you are the kind of person who always ‘says’ you are going to do something but never follow through with it, you will most likely fail. Put your goals in writing, it will keep you accountable and you will have a constant physical reminder of what you wish to accomplish.
As you know, it will take time to get ahead. It can take years of saving for your new house or investing into your retirement fund, but the outcome will be fully worth the wait. I wish I could grow $10,000 on a tree in my backyard, but unfortunately that isn’t possible. Start stocking up your cash, get in into the right places (ex: 401K or Roth Ira) and let it sit and grow. A little patience now, will go a long way.
My challenge to you this year is to take a closer look at your expenses. See if there is a way that you can ‘trim the fat’ and cut back on excess spending. I suggest that you to create a 5-year, 3-year and 1-year plan (in that order). Set your long-term goals and then work your way back, making manageable goals for each year until the ultimate goals are achieved. Take some time to think about what these goals are for the upcoming year and where you see yourself down the line. Write down these goals in a journal, with the date on the top, so that you can look back a year from now to see if you have accomplished them. My husband and I did this together and have found this to be such a great motivator. In fact, we even type up our financial plan and hang it up on the wall in our office for daily encouragement. As you accomplish certain tasks, cross them off so that you can see the progress being made. It has a domino effect, when you start to see progress it makes it easier to keep going- knowing that positive things are happening. Some of our goals this year are to pay off my student loans in full and to open a second Roth IRA. What are yours?
The goal this New Year is to get back on track and to commit yourself to a positive and profitable year ahead! All aboard the Financial Success Train, Choo Choo!
This post was first seen on Society Letters, here.