When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, do you take your finances into consideration? If not- you should. Setting goals around your money and finances are more common than you would think. It doesn’t have to be something drastic either, but things like set a budget for yourself, learning how to invest or investing in yourself, making your savings a priority, getting out of debt, and the list continues, are all options for setting yourself up for financial success. In 2019, 32 percent of us had a New Year’s resolution to save more or spend less or make tough financial choices this year, but only about 8 percent of us were successful in achieving them. Also according to Inc, saving money is one of the top five New Year’s resolutions and also in the top five for most commonly failed resolutions. So heading into the New Year, let’s try and make sure you don’t fall into that statistic of failed resolutions and set yourself up for a successful year, no matter what your goals are.
It is no surprise that your wallet gets put to good use over the holidays. It starts with Thanksgiving and that leads to Black Friday sales, which is also one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. MarketWatch shares how in 2018, Black Friday resulted in Americans spending $6.2 billion, with more than 170 million people shopping and spending money over the Black Friday weekend in 2017. This year, the average shopper is expected to spend about $400 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
And then it feels like we are directly into the holiday season. Especially because when it comes to Black Friday shopping, people start thinking of all the other gifts and items they needs for the holidays and to get started on their holiday shopping. Between gifts, holiday parties, decorations, and the many more unexpected items that pop up, it can be very easy to go over budget when it comes to the holidays.
Investopedia shares a few statistics on how we find ourselves in the financial positions we are in over the holidays including:
- For 2019, industry experts expect the average American to spend $920 per person on holiday gifts, up from $885 in 2018 and reaching a total of more than $1 trillion in holiday spending.
- Nearly every year since 2008, the amount of money that American consumers spend on holiday gifts has been increasing over the previous year.
- Over the past decade, e-commerce has captured an increasing amount of holiday spending market share, with many buying their toys, electronics, and jewellery online.
Based on these statistics, it is no wonder why we are going over budget when it comes to the holidays and feeling the pinch when your bills and credit card statements start coming in.
Don’t Suffer From the Financial Holiday Hangover
Budgeting for the holidays in December means you will be prepared when your bills arrive in January. It is when you find yourself falling off budget and starting to spend money that you haven’t planned on spending or making impulse purchases that will lead you to the financial holiday hangover. All the little last minute purchases add up and it is these items that you maybe haven’t prepared for but are likely the ones to throw you off budget. And without a budget in place for the holidays, you want to be able to cover your costs come January and do not want your statements to arrive and you not have a plan or are prepared to pay them all. We’ve given you reasons on why you should always be keeping a spending journal, and for the holidays this is no exception. When you know how much you’ve spent and what you’re spending it on, it’s much easier to keep track and see what you owe come January. Because we know you’re going to be using credit cards for purchases this holiday season (don’t worry, we’re guilty too), it can be much easier to lose track when you don’t have the numbers in front of you.
Remember that the holidays are about spending quality time with loved ones, not about how much you are spending. It is not about the newest and coolest gift or most expensive of something, sentimental value goes much further. It may not always feel like that, especially because retail stores do a great job at making you feel like you need these items this holiday season. Go with your gut and not your credit card when it comes to purchasing gifts this year so you don’t get caught with a financial holiday hangover. And as always, if you do get caught up when your statements start coming in, don’t stress – GoDay is here to help you get back on track.
Start With Something Small
The good news about New Year’s resolutions is that you get a fresh start with them each year. You want to give yourself your best shot at success and by setting a goal that’s doable — and meaningful too because a lot of New Year’s resolutions fail because they are not the right resolutions for you. When it comes to setting new financial goals for the New Year, it doesn’t have to be something drastic, in fact, we recommend starting small. If your goals are more realistic or specific then you are more likely to stick with them and accomplish them. Goals like creating an emergency fund are perfect for those who don’t have one and are a way to start with something small and watch it grow. What about saving for retirement? Building a budget? Paying down credit card debts? Improving/monitoring your credit score? Or Making better spending decisions? These are all examples of a few financial changes that could make to help benefit your financial well-being in the future. We tend to make ambitious goals or lists of habits that we want to change when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, such as losing weight, saving more money, or quitting a bad habit. But we need to remember that these goals all require considerable effort and will affect many aspects of your life which is why people tend to quit them. We tend to overwhelm ourselves by only thinking about the big or long term change and not what it takes to get there and the small accomplishments and little wins along the way. That’s why starting with a small or specific goal and achieving it can have a great impact on how you move forward, especially when it comes to your finances.
Know Your Financial Priorities
It’s a balancing act. Many of us struggle with conflicting financial priorities, so how do you prepare to juggle the list of financial wants versus financial needs? And how do you know what you can afford to do now while still taking care of your future self? We have talked about how everyone has different financial priorities. But when was the last time you asked yourself what you are willing to do to put your financial future first? Are you prepared financially for an emergency? Should you be making better spending decisions? Are you spending money you don’t have? Do you have confidence in your finances? As mentioned above, after you have an idea of your financial goals and how to attain them, being able to keep your finances in check is what is going to keep you on track. And there are quite a few ways to do this, and everyone has their own preferred method. Some people go digital and use budgeting apps, and some people choose to use spreadsheets. There are also people who use tracking methods like spending journals or use the tools their bank provides them with. No matter how you like to keep track, it is about finding the tools to help you focus on your financial priorities. Making financial goals based on what your financial priorities are will get you on the right track to being financially successful.
Focus On You
When it comes to setting yourself up financially for the New Year, do you know what is best for you and your wallet? It’s okay if you don’t- we can all use a lesson in money sometimes and that is the point of setting financial goals. It can be tough sometimes on where to start. But, by reviewing your current financial situation is a good place. Start with the basics. This will be the first step you need to take in determining what kind of financial goals to you need to focus on or make for your New Year’s resolutions. Do you want to stop ordering in dinner? What about taking public transit instead of taking Uber’s? Do you have memberships that you aren’t using and could be saving money? Have you tried making coffee at home instead of grabbing it once you are already out the door? Help getting you back and sticking to a budget is one of the main goals we have here at GoDay and why we offer payday loans for Canadians. We talk about making your money work for you a lot on our GoDay Blog and believe that having some kind of budget in place that works for you and your money is key to being on top of your finances. As we mentioned above, assessing your financial situation can help determine where your spending and whether you are standing in the red or in the black (especially after the holidays). Looking at last year’s money patterns such as saving and spending is one way to verify where your money is going and can help you to know what to focus on to meet your new money goals.
And if you need us, you know that we are always here to help. Here at GoDay, we know that the holidays can be tough on your wallet and the planned and unplanned expenses that pop up. See if a payday loan makes sense for you because no one needs anymore added stress over the holidays and the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to stay afloat until your next paycheque. This is why customers are turning to GoDay for a payday loan this time of year. We are speedy, smart and secure and are here to help put you at ease when it comes to your holiday budgeting so you can focus on what really matters this holiday season. Remember that when it comes to making goals for yourself this New Year’s that you are focusing on bettering yourself and that’s what matters and if we can help you meet your goals, even better. Learn more about how our payday loans work and see if we can help you today.