Think outside the box
At the end of 2016, Forbes.com ran an article by Peter Economy featuring the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions from a survey of 2,000 respondents. Here is the list along with my comments on how keeping any of these can help your personal finances:
Diet or eat healthier (71%)
This is helpful to your finances because the only way to do it right is eat out at restaurants less. Beneficial to your food budget and leads to lower medical bills, too!
Exercise more (65%)
A worthy goal as long as it doesn’t lead to belonging to 3 gyms you don’t visit. Try investing in some low cost, small (dumbbells, exercise balls) fitness equipment that you can park in front of your TV. Cheap and no excuses for not working out.
Lose Weight (54%)
Combo of the two above. Ditto for my comments.
Save more and spend less (32%)
Start with the first by setting automatic deductions to your 401(k) and investment accounts. Do NOT breach those accounts. The save less will naturally follow.
Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
Great! Maybe something like cooking at home or an active pursuit that will help you achieve Resolutions 1-3.
Quit smoking (17%)
So good for the budget, health care costs now and later, and the happiness of those around you who are sick of smelling your fumes.
Read more (17%)
I am a huge reader and libraries are free!
Find another job (15%)
Negotiate your best salary up front. Don’t take the first offer (that means you, ladies!).
Drink less alcohol (15%)
Admirable and will help you achieve Resolutions 1, 3, and 4.
Spend more time with family and friends (13%)
Spend time, not money. Any financial planner can get behind that!