Laura covers seven financial resolutions that could save you thousands and turbocharge your success. Even if you adopt just a few of them, you just may be in the best financial shape of your life this year.
Resolution #2: Go on a spending fast.
Just like skipping restaurants for 21 days helps you save, make a resolution to complete a spending fast. This is a set period of time when you spend money on necessities only, like groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and insurance.
During a spending fast you resist the urge to buy wants, like clothes, trinkets, gifts, housewares, makeup, or to pay for movies and entertainment. This exercise helps you understand how much and how often you make purchases that you really don’t need, even if you can afford them.
If you’re an impulse shopper, use the tips I included in last week’s post to nip unwelcome buying urges in the bud. Also, be aware of your emotions. Don’t ever shop in stores or online when you’re sad, anxious, or upset because research shows that you’ll overspend. That will only make things worse.
Don’t ever shop in stores or online when you’re sad, anxious, or upset because research shows that you’ll overspend. That will only make things worse.
Instead of focusing on what you want, be grateful for what you already have. And if you do give into an impulse, don’t beat yourself up about it, just return the item if you can.
The money you don’t spend on extras should go in an emergency fund or a savings account you may have earmarked for a short-term goal, like buying a car or going on vacation.
Resolution #3: Use or lose your gym membership.
Most people start the New Year with fitness goals, and I’m definitely in that camp. I realized that I didn’t use my gym membership as much as I planned to last year. Can you relate?
So my recommendation is to use it or lose it. Maybe ditching the expense would motivate you to spend more time outside doing something you prefer, like walking, running, or biking.
You could save the money instead of paying a gym. Memberships typically range from about $50 up to $150 or more per month. Cutting an average gym expense could add up to over $1,000 per year.
Or you could use the money for something that might inspire physical activity, like enrolling in a martial arts class, taking windsurfing lessons, or buying new workout gear that motivates you to get moving.
If you keep your gym membership (like I did), make a resolution to go there at least three times a week. If you’re not using it to reach your fitness goals, it’s time to rethink how to spend the money in a better way.