New Year Resolutions and the Financial Landscape

New Year Resolutions: It’s that time of the year again – the end of the year and the beginning of another. For most, the new year signifies a new start – for almost everything. And that’s why there is such a thing as ‘new year’s resolution’, a firm reminder to cease the errors of the yesteryear and to jumpstart new habits for the new year.

In an article by Psych Central, the trusted psychology website shared the thoughts of John Duffy, Ph.D, clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism in Raising Teens and Tweens: “most of us have a natural bent toward self-improvement. It gives us time and a goal date to prepare for the change, to fire up for the shifts we plan to make.”

Moreover, in the same article, Nona Jordan – a celebrated coach – states “the beginning of the year offers a fresh start and a clean slate. The fact that people keep making resolutions even when they don’t always follow through ultimately means that they have hope and a certain level of belief in their ability to change and be more of who they really want to be.”

Most Common New Year Resolutions (Go Skills):

1. Exercise more
2. Lose weight
3. Get organized
4. Learn a new skill or hobby
5. Live life to the fullest
6. Save more money / spend less money
7. Quit smoking
8. Spend more time with family and friends
9. Travel more
10. Read more

In an article by Business Insider, it states: “Trouble keeping a New Year’s resolution is a common phenomenon. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit their resolution after just one week. And only 19% of individuals are actually able to stick to their goals long term (two years, in the case of the study).”

Current Financial Landscape

A Money and Mental Health Report by BankRate and Psych Central shared insights on the current financial landscape. It reveals that more than four in ten people (42%) said that money worries have a negative impact on their mental health – especially those who belong to households with an income of less than $50,000.  Gen Xers (60%) and Millenials (59%) are mostly affected.

A similar study also revealed that, with the current inflation, more than half (53%) of adults have delayed a major financial milestone, the majority (58%) have avoided activities and events, and many (57%) feel that their quality of life has been negatively impacted.

On a broader perspective, Forbes has listed alarming financial statistics that highlight the need for financial awareness: 56% of Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency expense from their savings account (Bankrate); only about two in three adults could pay a hypothetical $400 expense using cash or its equivalent (Federal Reserve); 24% of consumers have no savings set aside for emergencies (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau); $8,942 is the average credit card balance for US households (WalletHub); 56% of workers say that they expect to have less than $500,000 saved for retirement, including 36% forecasting less than $250,000 in savings (Plan Sponsor); and 51% of American adults have delayed at least one important life decision in the last year for financial reasons, up 20% from a similar survey conducted in 2007 (CPA Practice Advisor).

Improving Finances

With the financial landscape seeming bleak, there is a dire need to refocus on finances. The website iMoney lists the following tips to improve finances: track your monthly expenses, be disciplined, be practical, and importantly, don’t buy things that you don’t really need. It is important to keep track of your expenses on a monthly basis – rent, electricity, water, food, transportation, medicine, etc. Then, identify which of these can be adjusted. You can opt to limit the use of air conditioning to save on your electricity bill. Or you can cross out trips to expensive restaurants or limit unnecessary shopping.

Monitor your money with financial calculators fromCalculator.Me. The website offers specific calculators for loan amortization, mortgage, auto loan, credit card, savings, retirement and even financial calculators. 

Improve Financial Health, according to Investopedia

  • Calculate net worth and personal budget
  • Recognize and manage lifestyle inflation
  • Spend mindfully
  • Start saving early
  • Build and maintain an emergency fund

Improve Financial Health, according to Bloomberg

  • Save early, and automatically
  • Expect financial emergencies
  • Set an asset allocation and diversify
  • Keep fees low
  • Use an adviser who is a fiduciary
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Maximize employee benefits

Improve Financial Health, according to Entrepreneur

  • Educate yourself
  • Check your credit status regularly
  • Create a budget
  • Pay your debts
  • Build your savings plan

Monitor your money with financial calculators from Calculator.Me

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