Some people want to lose weight and others want to find their significant other, but this coming year of 2016 I’m devoting my efforts on saving money. It’s about time that my bank account builds up because I’m only getting older and retirement is getting here faster, so why not make it the main goal of the New Year? Here is what I have in mind once the countdown is over and January 1st comes into play:
A) Cut out anything I don’t use on a daily basis
I’m already sort of a minimalist when it comes to the things I own. I don’t enjoy having a lot of stuff because it distracts me from doing my work and seems like it just clutters the place.
The first step is to do an inventory of the things I own and categorize them into keep, donate, sell, and throw out. The second step is to take action on this inventory; the items that help me with work and make my life easier will stay, many things will go to the local Goodwill, I’ll sell items that can make me decent money, and all those papers I can digitize and toss.
Once I hit that sweet spot of only having what I need I’ll stick to it – I’ll avoid buying stuff just to fill up the space so it’ll naturally help me save money.
B) Find better outlets for entertainment, creativity, and socialization
I’m no longer in my early twenties so going out each weekend to the club or bar hopping just isn’t my thing – especially now reflecting on how much I would spend each night.
This coming year I may be more of a homebody but I’m going to find better outlets to keep myself busy and entertained:
· I’ll work through my backlog of movies, games, and shows.
· I’ll invite the boys over for the game since I have DIRECTV Sunday Ticket. In terms of saving money, this beats going to a sports bar.
· I’ll use free online courses to explore hobbies and crafts.
· I’ll find meetups and local events versus spending money on concerts and paid events.
Not only will I be doing all this but I’ll find productive uses of my time so I can work on business and business-related goals that could earn me extra money to go toward savings.
C) Track and find ways to cut back on expenses
I admit I’m not great with my personal finances because I find it far too easy to just swipe my debit or credit card for something I want right at that moment. Likewise, I’ve fallen into this “acceptance” of my utilities, grocery lists, and other everyday expenses – I got lazy because I didn’t want to adjust my lifestyle when really that’s how you save the most.
Starting now (and especially in 2016) I’m going to work my butt off on the big wins:
· I’ll keep track of all my expenses so I can see where the money goes
· I’ll adjust how I use my electric, heating, and water to bring down the monthly costs
· I’ll cook more and use as much as I can when it comes to leftovers
· I’ll cut out those frequent trips to grab coffee, burgers, and snacks
I plan to start paying myself first. I’ll put money into my emergency savings, start making moves with investing and retirement, and keep right up-to-date on bills to ensure interest isn’t tapping into my income. It’ll mean I need to make some significant lifestyle changes but it’ll be worth it.
I find that these three, major points are the areas that will lead to the biggest improvement. Sure, there are tons of little ways to save a few bucks here and there but these are the big wins. It’ll be a challenge but that’s why we make New Year’s resolutions, right?
What about you? What are your financial goals for 2016 (and beyond)?