How many times throughout your life have you set new years resolutions to improve your life and circumstances, and by the third week into January your new gym membership is a relic of the past and your diet consists of fast food and regret? A few years back I found myself making little traction on my resolutions because of the “Why” didn’t strike a deep enough chord and I slowly drifted away from my goals. It is well known that one of the most common resolutions every year are financially related. Per WalletHub, approximately 40% of people plan to make a financial resolution for 2020 and I strongly encourage everyone to participate. Furthermore, I have researched that up to 80% of resolutions in general fail by early spring. Wow! Now for me, I have stopped calling them resolutions altogether, and I simply put them in my goal notebook. When I called them resolutions, they would never be completed, when it is another goal it is framed in your mind differently and almost is always accomplished timely. 2020 is going to be an exceptional year and the start to a new decade. Throughout this article I am going to discuss a couple of financial resolutions that you should consider starting the new year strong!
If you have cut expenses so much and you are still living like a college student and going underwater on your bills something to consider in this new decade would be to be transitioning to a new career. If you are lucky, most companies will only give you a 3-7% raise year over year for merit. This is a slow way to build wealth (and don’t forget about our inflation rate of 1.7% year over year). Often if you switch careers you can make anywhere between 15-50% more than you are in your current role. This solves the income piece of your problem, and with more income you will have more money to invest, save, give and spend. Something important to note on this is to not let your lifestyle creep just because you have an increased income. This will be hard to hold off, because you have spent so many years living one way and all the sudden once you get more you want to spend it. Treat yourself a little more but use this as an opportunity to become more wealthy. Most people’s job is their largest source of income and if they are spending it, they just are like a hamster in a hamster wheel (but this time, the hamster wheel is decked out in gold rather than steel) but they are still going nowhere.
Kill two birds with one stone and focus on the cheaper and healthier option at the same time. Now it is well known that being unhealthy is more expensive in the long run both directly and indirectly (medical bills, strain on family/relationships, less productive at work, bad diets etc.). By becoming more fit through exercise and nutrition you can instead have a water for lunch instead of a soda. While a soda is relatively inexpensive, water is generally free and is much healthier for you. What I use typically is a flavoring or sometimes I upgrade to seltzer water. You won’t crash mid-day doing this and you won’t be downing acid into your body. Another option you should consider would be going to Costco or Sam’s club and buying large containers of rice, potatoes, meat (freezing it), beans and soups. These foods are relatively healthy, but they are extremely cheap and cost effective if you purchase in bulk. I feel like you can purchase an entire Chinese rice field for $20 and it will last you several months. Planning far in advance, being cognizant of your diet and partaking in daily exercise will put you on a tremendous trajectory for 2020. Your body will thank you; your mind will be clear, and your savings account will have a larger than expected balance.
I can talk for days about what financial resolutions you should get into, but my suggestion to you is to get into setting financial goals. You know whether you are in debt or not, just like you know whether you are reading non-fiction finance books or binging the latest Netflix thriller series in one night. You know whether your credit score is suffering and if you are living paycheck to paycheck. To live a life of financial excellence, you need to prioritize this part of your life. Just like you see someone that is super fit at the gym, it is because they put in an hour to two hours of work into it every day. Start with thirty minutes of gaining financial knowledge every day and by the end of 2020 you will have accomplished many of the financial goals you set for yourself. You wanted change for the better from deep inside and because of this you have set a strong foundation for the years ahead. Start small, aim large and look at your bank account. You will laugh with joy in the future from where you started and where you are now. Let’s go 2020!
Nothing stated in this article is a recommendation from Forehand Financial to buy or sell a particular security or asset class. You should wisely consider your tolerance for risk, time horizon, and financial goals before making an investment. With investing, you run the risk of losing money, always read an investment prospectus and make an informed decision before allocating capital to a particular investment.