A reminder on new year resolutions

Jagjit Singh

Let me start by wishing my avid readers a very happy and prosperous new year. The Year 2017 has just arrived at our door steps and this is the time of the year when I must remind you all about your “new year resolutions”.

Rather than researching fad diets, telling yourself you’re going to cleaning out your garage, or pledging to update your resume, it may be time to take another look at your personal finance strategy.

It is a known fact that budgeting is a common resolution, as 25 per cent of the respondents under a survey stated that spending less and saving more was their top new year resolution, right behind “enjoying life to the fullest”, which 28 per cent of respondents ranked as their top resolution.

However, if you’re not a financial expert, figuring out the best strategy isn’t always obvious. So the New Year eve has always been a time to look back to the past, and more importantly, to look forward to the days ahead.

It’s time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. In modern times the terminology ‘new year resolution’ has become so fashionable that everyone wants to get associated with one or other swanky resolution.

A New Year’s resolution is nothing but a commitment that an individual makes to himself/herself towards reforming or adopting a habit, which often involves a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as “advantageous”.

What does this indicate for a normal human being? It mainly indicates that New Year resolutions must be chosen purely on the merits they respectively deserve and the corresponding positive impact, they are expected to have on our day-to-day life, provided the made resolutions are kept.

Thus it is important that before we zero down on the list of our final resolutions, there is a need to accord each one of them a priority or rank. Not to worry! Resolutions will differ from one person to another depending on one’s needs and aspirations in life.

For one person the first priority resolution could be to lose weight or quit smoking, while for someone else it may relate to save enough money so as to buy a new house or a car.

Whether you want to lose weight, stop alcohol consumption, or accomplish another goal, there is no single solution that works for everyone. You may have to try several different techniques, often through a process of trial-and-error, in order to achieve your goal.

It is during this period that many people become discouraged and give up on their behaviour changing goals. The key to maintain your goals is to stick to them and find ways to stay motivated throughout. So now coming back to the main topic of our today’s discussion, the message it disseminates is that you can have multiple resolutions, but I would recommend that one of them should invariably be on “savings & investment”.

Though I am no one to dictate your New Year Resolutions or even influence what resolutions you must set, but one thing I know for sure is that if you set ‘savings & investment’ as one of your resolutions, it will definitely put you in an “advantageous position”, than the one who has missed this as part of their resolutions.

Once we have set ‘savings & investment’ as one of our resolutions, then how do we ensure that it gets implemented? I know it is easier said than done, but if one is committed to do it, nothing is impossible.

More importantly, the first step in this direction is to prepare your monthly budget, which records all the sources of money one has and intended corresponding expenditures for the month. But remember, ‘budgets’ are again like other New Year’s resolutions - often made, but rarely followed.

This happens because most of us have good intentions, but get frustrated easily when it comes to implementation. While failing to keep your New Year’s resolutions rarely has a major effect on your life, but failing to set up and maintain a monthly budget can.

Personal budgeting is so important that in absence of it, one would end up spending all the money, with no leftover for savings.

So revisit your New Year resolutions to ensure that you have set ‘savings & investment’ as one of the resolutions and don’t forget to accord it the top priority or the first rank. This is needed as we all know that it matters the most, when it comes to our life.

So go for it and implement, if not all than at least the first ranked resolution, which is nothing but “savings & investment”. Cheers!!!!

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