“New year, new me”: It’s a phrase that’s often heard when January comes along, but an extreme New Year’s Resolution isn’t always realistic. At the start of a new year, it seems like anything is possible. However, years of failed resolutions can leave you feeling sceptical about setting new ones.
So, is there any point making new year’s resolutions at all? Of course, there is! The key to setting goals for a brand-new year and sticking to them is making sure that they are achievable. One such goal is saving for your future.
Choosing your new year’s resolution:
Deciding on your New Year’s Resolution isn’t always easy. Whether you focus on one resolution or a few, it’s important to think carefully about what is most important to you. Picture the happiest or best version of yourself and then consider what you’ll need to achieve in order to get there.
Having a long-term vision can help you to choose a meaningful resolution and keep you motivated. The great thing about choosing saving as a new year’s resolution is that it can help you to make your dreams for the future a reality. In fact, it has a long list of other benefits, too – we’ve listed the top five below.
You can set your own pace
Saving for your future is an ongoing task, which means that you can opt to do it in a way and at a pace that suits you. For instance, you can tailor how much you save based on your circumstances; if they change, you can increase or decrease the amount you choose to save throughout the year.
Would you prefer to save several lump sums or regular monthly payments? Will you save with an ISA? What is your financial goal? It’s all up to you!
It can be easy to let your New Year’s Resolution slip if you can’t see that you’re making progress. However, if you commit to saving regularly (and you don’t dip into your savings), you’re always going to see your money grow, which will encourage you to keep going.
Because saving is measurable, you can monitor how you’re getting on. If it looks like you’re not going to hit your target savings amount, you can actively make changes for the better. Or if you feel like you’re way ahead of where you thought you’d be, you could temporarily reduce how much you save to give yourself some extra spends or, even better, challenge yourself by raising your target!
A stepping-stone to your long-term goals
What are your dreams for the future? Buying a new home? Financial security for your family? Planning your dream wedding? Going on a luxury holiday? Whatever your goals, saving will help you on your way to achieving them.
Even if you’re not sure what the future holds for you, starting to save and continuing to do so will mean that you’ll be prepared for anything!
Other resolutions can make it easier
If you’re making additional New Year’s Resolutions, think about how they can help you to save money. For example, a common resolution is to eat healthier; eating out less often and ordering fewer takeaways means extra pennies in your savings pot.
Other common resolutions that could cut your spending include quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol. Work related objectives can also contribute to your savings including a new job or cycling to work.
The knock-on effect
It’s not all about the future; saving has the potential to improve your overall wellbeing here in the present.
A commitment to regular saving requires you to assess your financial situation. Looking at your finances in detail gives you the opportunity to review them and re-think your budgeting. Therefore, starting to save can trigger a new approach to how you manage your money.
Money can be a source of anxiety, so taking control of your finances and building a rainy-day fund for the future can help to ease this stress. This could lead to a happier and healthier you!
How to stick to it
Planning to make a radical change in a short period of time could put you on an instant path to failure. According to research carried out by Bupa in 2017, one in five people admitted to being overambitious with their resolutions. Therefore, in order to improve your chances of making your New Year’s Resolution a success, set yourself smaller and achievable targets that will help you to reach a bigger goal over time.
This means that you shouldn’t expect to become a millionaire over 12 months by skipping your daily coffee. Set yourself an amount you would like to save by the end of the year and create a list of steps that will help you get there. You can stay on track by regularly reviewing your progress (every two months, for example) and making any necessary adjustments to your plan of action.
Remember, saving takes commitment, self-discipline and patience – but it will all be worth it in the end.
Want to get started?
If you’re keen to start saving, there are many options available to you. It’s important to do your research and choose a plan that works for you.
At Shepherds Friendly, we offer flexible savings plans for you and your family. When you choose to save with us, you are choosing a mutual society that is member focused and has your best interests at heart.