By Samuel Rosenberg
MANY people make New Year’s resolutions complete with the intention of bonding to the idea, long-term. Unfortunately, many New Year’s resolutions arrive unprepared and without proper consideration, which is why many fail to see the second week of January, let alone last. Conversely, research shows that it takes 30 days to develop a new habit. Where you wish to make changes to your life, develop your 30 days habit and it may last until the next New Year’s resolutions are due.
Should you decide to start a daily 6:00 a.m. workout routine, six days a week, you will need to complete this for at least 30 full days to ensure that the habit will stay with you.
New habits are the beginning of a true and meaningful change. It is a great opportunity for you to start changing your financial habits. If you really want to improve your financial health, you can introduce a new daily routine into your life and extend this where necessary across your family so they are involved. You may decide to spend the next 30 days taking 15 minutes at 7:00 p.m. every evening, to review your finances. When you make it the same time every day and record your income and expenses, you will develop an excellent habit which will help you analyse your financial situation, locate any glaring errors and immediately visualise ways to make improvements.
Anyone can regularly check their finances. You do not need to be an MBA graduate to help you analyse the necessary information. Once you have gathered all the data that you require each day, a simple review will present you with a clear picture and help you develop plans to improve your financial health.
You can energise your financial habits by cutting out all unnecessary expenditure, including those expensive coffees and fast food which you began purchasing during a previous bad habit and have so far refused to acknowledge and change. Just an extra five minutes in the morning will provide you with the time to make a high-quality drink and healthy sandwiches or other food items, like fruit and vegetable smoothies to help improve your health and your finances at the same time.
Once you analyse your finances regularly, you will be able to update your financial budget so that you can see the real amount of money that comes into your life, from your work and other sources, for use by you and your family. You will also determine where all your money is being spent. As you compare your previous budget to your expenses, the differences will quickly indicate where you must spend money and where you are wasting dollars.
One of your great achievements from the success will be able to divert money into a savings account, perhaps weekly or maybe monthly, depending upon how you are paid. This will enable you to build up an emergency fund as well as saving for specific targets which may include moving home or purchasing a business, for example.
The habit of saving money regularly may take all 12 months for you to consider this a priority as you see the funds build up for future use.
Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org