According to a recent Nielsen survey, these are the top five most common New Year’s resolutions:
– Stay fit and healthy
– Lose weight
– Enjoy life to the fullest
– Spend less, save more
– Spend more time with family and friends
This blog series tackles how to take these on when life is already so busy! How do we find time to also improve ourselves with resolutions? See earlier posts covering Stay fit and healthy and Lose Weight/Enjoy life.
Spend Less/save more : When you are busy, it is incredibly difficult to focus on budgets and saving money! We’ve seen the million different books and blogs on budgeting – but who has time to read them to decide which one is right for you? My advice is : before you invest the time in reviewing options, start with simply documenting where your money is going. I promise you will be shocked by some items. Here are my tips for tracking money:
1) Get online access to ALL your accounts. A single “merging” app like Mint is even better – allowing you to see every transaction hitting your bank.
2) Pick the last month only, and review every transaction – do you remember spending it? Are there countless “Apple” charges and for the life of you, you can’t recall buying anything on your iPhone?
3) For every transaction you question, research a little deeper. I found four monthly subscriptions totaling $100 per month for services I never, ever used.
Starting here causes awareness which is often half the battle. Then move on to budgeting. What do you think you should be spending every month on groceries? Spend the next month tracking what you actually do spend on groceries and I suspect you will be surprised by the difference in these two numbers. Eating out is always a good place to start budgeting/tracking too.
Spend more time with family and friends – alas, the best New Year’s resolution there is. Every month, make a coffee, lunch or happy hour date with a friend. Do not cancel no matter what. You will love time and quickly find yourself looking for more open slots of time to fill with those you love! Need help finding a place to meet? Reach out to Zeal – we got you covered.