This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series.The next posts are
Step 2 trim the fat
Step 3 do it yourself
Step 4 stop wasting
Step 5 review your expenses
Step 6 crush your debt
Step 7 make more money
Step 8 be happy
Step 9 max it out!
Step 10 stop buying
Step 11 give back
Step 12 make a plan
Step 13 enjoy!
Happy New Year!! I hope that 2013 will be filled of happiness, joy, health, friendships and of course, smart money decisions. Which is why I am starting a mini boot camp to start your finances on the right foot this new year. AND co-hosting a $100 cash giveaway to help you kick start your money resolutions!
As my title says, you need to start somewhere. I am guilty of procrastination myself and facing a mountain of debt, expenses, or money obligations is daunting. Like this big pile of dirty dishes was before it became this:
I spent probably half morning looking at it and finding much better activities than tackling it. We had roasted lamb and the cold lamb fat is kind of gross. I could find 10 excuses not to do it. But bottom line, if I want to eat again, I need a clean plate. And under the tropics, after seeing a couple of disgusting cockroaches in my kitchen, I know better than living dirty dishes for long.
So I just started somewhere. I grabbed a glass, and whatever needed less attention than the big greasy Pyrex. By the time I reached the Pyrex, I had gained momentum, and it was the only item left, so cleaning it was not such a big deal after all.
Time to tackle your finances. Yes, you have 20 items on your money to do list. I don’t care about the other 19, stop making excuses, and chose one. That is it, just one. The smallest balance credit card, your favorite savings goal, your choice. What kind of efforts are you making to reach your goal? How bad do you want it?
We all know how to lose weight, we need to eat less and exercise more. Yet if you start starving yourself and running a daily marathon from the start, chances are you will be giving up after two days. The same goes for your money goals, find a small, approachable one and work your way up.
People are full of excuses, there is no time to make meals at home, to cycle to work, they NEED a new computer and REALLY can’t find enough money at the end of the month. Look again. Stop making excuses because the joke will be on you.
Start somewhere, somewhere small, you may not climb the mountain today but scratching a little bit of it will make the slope less steep. You want to start saving 75% of your income to reach financial independence? Start with 10% and increase the amount by 5% each month until you can’t cut on your spending anymore. You want to get rid of $20K of debt? Start by making $50 extra payments every month and increase those contributions by $20 every following month, until your budget is tight.
Why is NOW the best time to start? Actually the best time to start was yesterday, or a few years back, but you can’t change the past, and every other day you spend in debt is costing you money. Plus you probably got a raise in the new year, even though it is just an inflation adjustment, so put it towards your first money goal.
Until this goal is achieved, all your money focus should be on it. On top of making your regular debt payments and retirement contributions of course.
I prefer goals to resolutions, because there is effort implied, whereas I feel that many people just throw resolutions in the air and forget about them on January 2nd.
One of my money goals for 2013 is to get rid of $25K of debt. $5K minimum payments and $20K extra. That is a stretch because I also want to build a house and develop 90 acres of land in Guatemala. I will try my best and put every little extra towards my goal. In order to make it easier, I am cutting it into smaller goals. My extra $20K reduction includes a 7% loan and a 0% balance card that comes to an end in June. For now, I will focus on saving 1/6th of the card balance on a savings account until June.
Now on to the giveaway! This time again, you can win $100 cash through Paypal or Amazon gift card, your choice! All you have to do is like my FB page for an easy entry. Check out the other participants to win more entries. Good luck!
How did your NY go? Had a good time? Ready to dream big in 2013?
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