This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer.
It’s the time of year when everyone is talking about their New Year’s resolutions or goals for the year. Tops on the majority of Americans’ New Year’s resolutions for 2010 are losing weight, quitting smoking, and saving more money.
While losing weight and quitting smoking seem to have nothing to do with personal finance in reality they have a lot in common with the goal to save more money, as well as effecting your bottom line.
By using these personal finance principles you can achieve almost any goal this year.
Automate it. One of the simplest and most effective methods of saving more money is to automate your savings. By automatically withdrawing money you don’t have to think about shifting money around.
How can you apply this to your New Year’s resolution? Take some time to plan now so you don’t have to think about it later. If your goal is to get up and exercise every morning before work, you could lay out your clothes so in the morning everything is ready to go.
Budget. If you don’t know where your money is going it may be hard to come up with the extra cash you need to start saving. You take the time to analyze your budget so you know where you wouldn’t ming cutting back versus what’s important to you.
How can you apply this to your New Year’s resolution? Whether your goal is to cook 365 days out the year, or getting fit you need to come up with a plan for implementation. Planning out the optimal time for you to work out is keeps you accountable.
Dream up a reward. Saving is something we know we should do, but not something that’s fun to do. Coming up with a reward is a fantastic way to motivate yourself, and anyone else in your family.
How can you apply this to your New Year’s resolution? Whether your reward is a pair of designer jeans after you’ve lost that last 5 lbs. or a vacation paid in cash once your debt is paid in full, you can motivate yourself by placing a photo of your reward in your wallet or on the wall, or by using your goal as a password.
Stick with it. When you are budgeting or saving money you will make mistakes, and at times it will seem easier to just stop budgeting and worrying about their saving money. Stick with it then and the payoff will be huge.
How can you apply this to your New Year’s Resolutions? Eating a donut doesn’t mean the diet is over, just like sneaking one last cigarette doesn’t mean you should go back to a pack a day. You will mess up, it’s in our nature to make mistakes. Just remember to pick yourself up and try again.
Published or updated January 7, 2010.