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Amy Nickson On 4th Apr,16
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2016-financial-resolutions

I was sitting on my balcony staring at the sky, when Cathy, my bestie, and our neighbor suddenly asked me what’s your favorite new year eve song? I racked my brains trying to recall some songs when she impatiently shouted her’s favorite song -“New Year’s Resolution” composed by Otis Redding.

Oh! Resolutions! Hearing the word resolution from her mouth brought back my own New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 to my memory. Oops! Those resolutions that I made and followed for the first 3 months only! Then I forgot everything just like every time I do with the prescribed medicines. I have a rotten habit that - the moment I feel better, I ditch the medicines without completing the course!!!

Truly, following resolutions requires mental firmness and single-mindedness to stick to. Like me, many of you also ditch your resolutions within a couple of days. Again, it’s New Year and the time for fresh starts. Why don’t we consider some financial resolutions that help us to achieve financial success? Well, don’t think this year again, you will fail to stick to the resolutions. Maybe you can follow your resolutions for the whole year around and achieve your goal. Let's give it another try!

1. Revisit 2015

The first thing that is required is to look back on the 2015’s financial plan. What are the mistakes you did? Point out the mistakes and work on them. Look at the budget and evaluate it to make necessary changes.

2. Show commitment to your emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, then build it as soon as possible. But, creating an emergency fund will actually work when you start putting money into that account. Remember, an emergency fund can give the support when an unexpected expense arrives. But, only saving a little amount of money is not sufficient. Make sure your emergency fund is fat enough to cover 1 year's of living expenses. So, saving, at least, $90-$100 each month can be one of the financial resolutions.

3. Pay more than monthly payments and become debt free

Don’t take a long time for paying off your credit card debt. It can create a negative effect on your credit score. When you’re paying only the minimum amount, it'll take a long time. So, try to pay more than the minimum payment to resolve the debt issues as soon as possible. Your target should be, to become debt free over the year.

Read more - 5 Weird steps that helped me get out of debt sooner

4. Cut down spending

At the end of the year, millions of people plan for saving money or spending less, but there are few who actually make them happen. Spending less and saving more is a great financial move, but you must stick to it to see the result. So, if you’re thinking about spending less money to save more, then check the budget of 2015 and analyze the areas where you spent more and cut down those expenses. If you’re thinking where to start, then the answer is grocery and shopping. Trust me, you can save a ton. Just plan well and stick to it.

Read more - Save more this year with less expenditure

5. Use a budget tool to stick to the budget

The most common tips that you find in almost every personal financial article is the importance of budgeting. Making a budget is easy but sticking to the budget is not that simple task. Make sure you stick to the budget and revisit the budget time-to-time. To make the task easier, download any free budget app in your smartphone and track where your money is going. A budgeting app not only helps you to track the spending, but also ensures whether or not the budget is realistic. Thus, the result will reflect on your finances.

Read more - Master the art of budgeting: 8 Apps that make the task easy-peasy

6. Keep patience

If your debt level is high, then try to get some realistic solution. Don’t dream about any miracle to completely get out of debt, rather focus on the solution to the problem.

Say, your monthly disposable income is $7000, and you make monthly repayment of $4000 for credit card debts and for the loans that you owe. Remember, you have to pay a certain amount to the creditors every month. You need to meet other expenses as well. So, it takes some time to become completely debt free and to achieve financial freedom.

7. Share your resolutions with someone close

Many of you may not be willing to share your personal troubles with others. But, sharing with someone very close to you, may help you to stay focused. If you’re in deep financial trouble right now, then share the problems with someone close. Sharing eases the troubles you’re going through. The person, with whom you share your financial resolution, may motivate you to stick to them as well.

8. Research, read and get educated

If you are indeed serious about achieving financial success, then make yourself educated about the subject first. Read personal finance journals, research on the Internet and make yourself more knowledgeable. Thus, you’ll be able to get more options. Your knowledge will help you to invest money wisely or become debt free easily.

9. Give a call to the credit card issuer

Don’t forget to give a call to your credit card issuer for lowering the interest rates. If you’re a potential customer for quite a long time and have records of paying bills on time, then you can be the lucky one who can get the lower interest rate. So, give the call as early as possible to get the chance.

10. Don't make any financial moves if you aren’t sure

Managing financial task requires hard work and skills. So, if you’re going to make a big decision, then make sure it won’t create any negative effect on your finance. If you’ve any doubt regarding the financial move, then seek professional help instead of making any mistake. A financial coach will show you the right way or give you answers to your questions.

11. Food waste! No-no

Food waste causes a huge money loss that most of the families aren't aware of. So, if you really want to get a financially secured life, then you must practice how to plan meals to reduce costs and food waste. The task isn’t tough as it sounds. You just need to plan the weekly meals and bulk buying that your family needs. Just don’t throw extra foods from the refrigerator. You can make many lip smacking dishes using those leftovers. You have the smartphone! You have the Internet! So, why don’t you google to get thousands of recipes that can be made using leftovers!

Read more - The gastronomic delights: Best ways to enjoy your meal on a budget

12. Update all your policies

The beginning of the year (January) is the perfect time for reviewing and updating all policies like insurances, accounts, and investments. Remove policies that you no longer need or close accounts that you hardly use. These are a very important task that you must complete before the year starts.

13. Embrace frugality

Living a frugal life doesn’t mean living a miserable life. Frugality helps you to stick to the budget. Once you start adopting frugality, you’ll find how money saving becomes easy.

Read more - 5 Ways to live frugally towards the month’s end

15. Give yourself rewards

Making resolution doesn’t have to be living off a life without entertainment. Enjoyment and happiness play a vital role to stay on track. You just need to think in a calculated way. For instance, if you enjoyed a long trip with your family last summer, then plan a cozy and small trip this year such as camping, picnic, yard party and so on. You can eat out, visit a multiplex as well, but try to stay within your means. Live a balanced life to maintain the lifestyle for a longer period.

16. Think positively

Keep that belief in your mind that you’ll be able to turn those resolutions into reality. Always, stay in a positive frame of mind and think of additional money by working in your off time. The additional money will give you support and help you to stick to your resolution as well.

Do you think these goals are achievable and can you turn them into reality? Don’t forget to pen down your thoughts.

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