Exercising more, losing weight, eating healthier and quitting smoking are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people make. However, if you – like most resolution-makers – have struggled to stick to these, past the second week of January, you might need an additional incentive – money.
This is according to Tasnim Alli, Client Insights Leader and Anthropologist at Metropolitan, who says: “Saving money is another resolution that tops the list time and time again, but what if this could be achieved simply by sticking to your other resolutions?”
“Cutting down on takeaways and stopping smoking can immediately start paying off. Although it might not be easy in the beginning, putting the money that you normally would have spent on these indulgences into a savings plan can help you to achieve your financial life goals, be it a new car, holiday away or even just funds for a rainy day.
"While reducing the amount of fast food you eat is a great way to save money and start losing weight, eating healthier is important too. There is a common misconception that healthy food is much more expensive than junk food, but healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, if you compare the costs of fresh fruits and veggies with what you usually spend on foods high in bad fats and calories and low in nutrients, you’ll probably see that the latter actually costs much more. For those wanting some extra guidance on what to eat to lose weight, try looking online for tips on healthy eating habits and portion control.
"With a resolution like exercising more, many people immediately think of joining a gym, making it no wonder gyms offer enticing deals every January. This is an unnecessary expense, particularly as 67% of people with a gym membership don’t use it. Fortunately, running, hiking and other outdoor activities are free and there are even a number of outdoor gyms popping up around the country that anyone can use.
"Getting into better shape shouldn’t just apply to your body, but to your finances too. Start by conducting an audit of your personal finances. This entails going through every bill, receipt or statement you can find to see where your income is going and what your spending habits are. The next step is identifying patterns in your spending and determining which ones you can eliminate such as squandering money on eating out too often, splurging on payday or putting too many expenses on your credit card. You should also list your current monthly expenses and sort them into categories like transportation costs, food, entertainment, etc. This will allow you to see which of these might be unnecessary and where this money could possibly be better spent. For instance, if you are paying for satellite TV when you mainly use a streaming service, you might be better off cancelling the former and putting that money towards your retirement fund.
"Once you have a clearer picture of your financial shape, consider the goals you would like to achieve and what you can do to get there. This will generally require consolidating or reducing debt, cutting back on certain expenses and developing a budget to help you save. “
“Small changes add up in the long run. Imagine how much money you could save by this time next year if you just stick to your resolutions,” concludes Alli.
Content supplied by Metropolitan.
PERSONAL FINANCE ONLINE