Every year people start talking about saving money, spending less, losing weight, drinking less, exercising more and so on it goes. The truth of it is, New Year’s resolutions don’t work. In fact over 65% of people abandon them all together. The reason they don’t work is because most often they are about what you think you should be doing and so the motivation and commitment to make them happen runs out of steam. There is so much pressure attached to doing them that they are almost pointless and the timing is all wrong.
So rather than setting yourself up to fail, let’s set you up to succeed.
For many people money is an issue in the New Year and why sorting out finances ends up being high on the New Year’s resolution list. We often over spend to make Christmas happen and over the holidays spend more because we are off work too.
So first off, let’s totally forget about New Year’s resolutions. Time is irrelevant. You can make this decision any time of year.
Focusing on money, make a commitment to yourself now that you want to manage your money better. Call it a goal, an aim or whatever, but just make that commitment to yourself. To make that (and in fact anything you’d like to achieve or bring into your life) you have to take some action. Here are the steps to working towards achieving your goal of managing your money better:
Make a list of all your thoughts, feelings and emotions around money. You might find it useful to do this over the space of a few days. Get a big sheet of paper and write the word MONEY in the middle. Put it in a bubble, colour it in, get creative or do whatever you wish with that word, but make it centre of the page. It is better to write this than doing it on a computer or device.
Then, write down everything around it you feel or think about money. This might be things you grew up thinking, like, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, or ‘money is hard to come by’. Write down everything that comes up for you around money, good or bad. If your money situation at the moment isn’t good, you will find that most of what you write down is pretty negative or what you would consider, bad. That’s ok, just get it all down, the good and the bad.
This is your money story. What you really think and feel about money. If you do this over the course of days or even a couple of weeks, you will find what comes up surprising. Keep it somewhere where you can see it every day and just add to it when you feel like it.
Once you have a really good picture of your money story, think about how this has affected your money experiences. How much money you save, what you earn and what you do with your money. How you see money with others.
Then, get a new sheet of paper and write a new money story.
The one you have just done is what got you to this point. It does not matter what that story was, how it was created and the experiences you have had, you can always turn it around. Money is just paper, and it is the meaning you apply to it that makes your experience of it what it is.
On the new sheet of paper write down every positive you can about money. Write down what money can do for you, what having money in your life would mean. How can you enjoy money? How can you create more money? Again, give this time – if your money situation now is not a good one then this process will take some time. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, you are writing a new story and it will take time for you to take that on board and put it into practice.
When you have created your new money story, slowly take the steps towards making that happen.
Write down a list of steps you can take now. What habits around money can you let go of and what habits can you start doing that are in line with your new money story? Saving each week is a good start. Keeping track of what you spend is also a good way of deciding to let go of spending on things you don’t really need or want.
Good luck. Clockwise is here to help you manage your money better, so be sure to make the most of our savings and loan products that include rewards for good borrowers and saving while you borrow. If you need any help or advice, just contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.