Last week my partner Greg Horstman listed ten areas to review before 2012 comes to a close. This week, let’s turn our focus to 2013 and explore some habits worth adopting for the New Year.
The typical question every January is “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” That’s why the gyms are filled to capacity and commercials preach the “greatest weight-loss secret.” So instead of making a resolution this year (which only 46% of Americans maintain after six weeks), try developing a few new habits.
Experts say it takes 21 days to form a new habit of medium complexity (waking up at a certain hour, planning your day in advance, etc.). So whether it’s exercising three times a week, going for a walk on your lunch break, or unplugging from technology at 8:00pm, getting started on a productive habit today is a great way to start 2013.
Here are three financial habits to consider for 2013:
1. Track Your Spending – Get into the habit of monitoring your spending. Tracking where your money goes each month will reveal areas of emphasis in your budget as well as spending categories you may trim back. At Prosperion, we offer a complementary tool called WealthVision that can track your spending and organize your transactions by month, merchant and category.
2. Create a Budget – For many people creating a realistic budget is a big step. But knowing where, how and on what you will spend your money on could be a big help. We see tremendous value in budgeting your monthly income, spending, and savings and living within your budget. Utilizing WealthVision to track both your monthly spending and budget will get you on the right track for 2013.
3. Automatic Savings – You may have heard the phrase, “Pay yourself first.” We believe this is an important habit to form. By automatically contributing to your savings, you are making tomorrow a priority today. Whether it’s to an education account, retirement, project or emergency fund, making these contributions a regular part of your budget will support your financial foundation.
So here we are, 21 days to go until January 1st. If you start forming these habits now you’ll be well on your way to a fiscally fit New Year.
New Year’s habits (or resolutions) shouldn’t be exclusive to weight-loss, exercise, or even financial behaviors. Forming even the smallest habits can have a big reflection on your life and those around you. At Prosperion Financial Advisors, we have a few simple habits we try to implement every day:
- Be on time
- Do what you say you’ll do
- Always say please and thank you
If you have any questions on forming your new financial habits for 2013, or would like help utilizing WealthVision, please don’t hesitate to contact us.