Last December, we highlighted some financial resolutions to aim for in 2015. The idea was to set some relatively simple resolutions that almost anyone could accomplish to improve their financial well-being.
Resolutions would not be resolutions if they were easy to keep. So here we are, one year on, trying to understand why most of us failed to keep some or all of these resolutions.
If you are one of those who managed to keep the resolutions, good for you!
For the rest of us with weaker minds, it is okay, to tried back then and 2016 offers you another attempt to improve yourself.
1. Clear Your Debt
Car loans, renovation loans, credit card debts and loans from friends, you name it, some of us have it. Most of us, if given a choice, would prefer to be debt free.
However, being debt free is tougher than what most of us expect. The reason is simple, our lifestyles.
We have been brought up in a society where we somehow think that spending is a signal that we are doing well in life. No longer is it enough to have food on the table and a roof over our head.
Driving a car, buying a condominium, spending on a holiday, dining at restaurants, chilling at the cafe and even providing premium education for our children are all things that we crave to differentiate our lifestyles from others.
As what Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club said, “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [email protected] we don’t need”
Worst still. We sometime buy these things to impress people we don’t like.
For most of us, our inability to reduce our current debt level is linked to our inability to adjust our lifestyle. We can’t get rid of the expensive holidays, cab rides, weekend drinks with the girls or the expensive gym membership. Period.
2. Use Cash More
Using cash more is one of the toughest things for people to do. This includes financially savvy people.
For starters, why should we incur the inconvenience of paying in cash when the banks are rewarding us via cash rebates, points, miles and additional interest rates on our other accounts for using our credit cards?
The matter of the fact is, we are weak. We don’t feel the pinch when we make purchases and continue this streak until the end of the month. We get worried for one day, maybe two if our finances are doing badly, and then recert to our old habits. And the credit card companies know this.
3. Save Your First $10,000
You almost did…
But something else happened along the way. A new child joining the family, an unexpected resignation or retrenchment, that impromptu trip to Japan because you followed too many lifestyle and travel websites on your Facebook, the iPhone 6S, Christmas shopping.
In other words, what happens every year happened again.
4. Invest In One Thing
You wanted to. But then you started getting distracted with other more “important” things such as your wedding planning, your home renovation, finding a new job so that you can quit the horrible one you are currently in.
After you settled those, you started getting busy with other things such as taking your part-time degree or Master. Your weeknights got busy balancing between your studies and watching Game Of Thrones. You hardly have time for your spouse, children and parents, let alone to invest. Your boss regularly bothers you on weekends. You had In Camp Training (ICT) and you had to go for Remedial Training (RT).
Basically, you were too busy doing things you do every year.
Taking Part in the #BeMoneySensible Contest
Or maybe you had a financial resolution that you managed to achieve this year. If that’s the case, why not share your success with the rest of Singapore by taking part in the #BeMoneySensible Contest organized by the Institute for Financial Literacy (IFL). You could even snag yourself prizes by sharing your success.
Taking part in it is really simple. You just need to complete the following steps.
Step 1: Follow IFL on Instagram (@finlit.sg) or “Like” them on Facebook.
Step 2: Leave a comment or post to tell them how you are MoneySensible.
Step 3: Hastag #BeMoneySensible and #FinLitSG.
So feel free to share your best tip on how you transform your financial well being this year. By sharing your tip, you stand a chance to win exciting prizes such as the latest iPhone 6S, the iPad Air 2 and some useful vouchers from Courts and NTUC.