Remember the excitement you felt on December 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. as the New Year was approaching? Then that excitement increased even more once you began counting down from 10 to 1. Who said that feeling has to stop? You have 11 more months ahead of you in 2022. Keep the celebration going by following these tips.
Focus on pleasure – You weren’t expecting that were you? Most people do not pursue financial goals because they assume it will involve pinching pennies, not having fun, or only eating rice and beans for dinner. Wrong! Focusing on how you would feel after achieving a financial goal will make the journey that much sweeter. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment, not to mention security, you would have if the balance in your savings, emergency fund, or retirement accounts increased after making some simple modifications to your daily behavior. Doesn’t that thought feel good?
Make your money behave – Giving your money instructions is the first step to making sure it follows your rules. Those rules exist inside the boundaries of your monthly spending plan. However, rules only work when you execute. Remember, financial boundaries aren’t barriers; they are safety nets.
Count your money – At a minimum, know how much income is coming into your household each month. Pay attention to pre-tax retirement contributions, payroll deductions and taxes. Whatever amount is deposited into your account on payday is what you have to make your financial dreams come true.
Track your spending – You may have heard this once or maybe a thousand times. If you aren’t tracking your spending, how else can you determine if your budgeted spend is in alignment with your actual spend? It’s your money so count it, track it, and then count it again.
Make big goals small – Once you create a financial goal for the year, break it down into a monthly, weekly, or daily goal. If you’d like to save $600 in 12 months, save $50 a month. You could also save approximately $25 every two weeks. Whatever method makes you feel good about taking action, use it.
Set it and forget it – Subscription services are successful because most people forget what they sign up for. This natural behavior works well when used to put or keep money in your pocket. Many 401k plans have an auto-escalation feature that increases contributions each year. Consider creating an auto-transfer from your checking account to a savings account specifically for your next vacation, weekend getaway, or birthday trip.
Reward yourself: It can be challenging to live a life where you never treat yourself to something that brings joy. As you strive toward accomplishing whatever financial goal you set, small rewards along the way, in moderation, can add happiness by the pound.
These seven tips fit perfectly into seven days a week. If you doubt whether they will work, you’ll never know until you execute; don’t just try. The word try implies that failure is an option. 😊 Keep your celebration going and make 2022 the year of the new financial you.
Al Riddick is President of Game Time Budgeting, an award-winning financial fitness company that helps people develop simple and easy to duplicate systems for making their money behave. He is the author of The Uncommon Millionaire and two workbooks: The Uncommon Millionaire's Guide to Financial Fitness and Money $mart Teens. Also, Al has been featured on NerdWallet, in Black Enterprise and Money magazines, on radio and on ABC, CBS and NBC affiliated television stations.