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4 January 2020 | 6 min read

6 Practical Tips To Help You Get Your 2020 Budgeting Goals Right 

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Every new year we start with a list of new resolutions. Every year we tell ourselves that we finally meal prep every meal. We will hit the gym every day and maybe even try meditating. Hell, we will also stick to bullet journal and also advise others on how to go about the process. Spending your hard-earned money on lattes, lavish holidays, and one-too-many jumpsuits – that’s so old-fashioned. Except there is one major hurdle. All those brand new money resolutions you’re so set on? You promised yourself you’d tackle them last year {and the year before that}. So, what’s the trick to getting those resolutions to work? How do you make sure they’re not empty promises? Ahead, we have put together seven incredible yet practical tips to help you stick to your budget resolutions. Ready? Let’s go.

Tackle Your Debt

The best thing that you can do while planning your financial goal is to tackle one thing at a time. Rather than trying to pay off all your credit card dues, loans and save up for that new car, make one thing your priority. It is always a good idea to pay off as much as consumer and loan debt as possible before you start saving for a new product. With debts, it makes sense to pay off the smallest amount that you owe and then move to larger loans. Alternatively, you can pay off loans that have the highest interest rates first.

Make sure you make debt payment your top-most priority in the journey towards savings. Once you have cleared your debt, you will automatically have some extra money to use for other financial goals like a down payment for a car, upgrading your home furniture, or a well-deserved holiday. In short, learn to tackle one item at a time and make sure you follow a structured plan while staying accountable to all your current and future spends. 

Work Towards Earning More Money

Unless you have been fortunate to have a fairy godmother in your life, the chances are that money in your account cannot multiply overnight. However, what you can start doing right away is taking the right steps to earn more money. While you can always look for a new higher paying job, you can also stay at your current profile and ask for a raise there. However, to ask for a raise, you will need to start doing your research. Look around job search websites to see what salaries are being offered to professionals in similar roles and use your research to support your pitch for a raise or your next job interview. 

If you feel your current salary is fair for your skillset and years of experience, take time to boost your resume through additional learnings. Take an online course or earn professional certification to learn valuable skills – even if you are not looking to change your job, a new skill set is always an excellent addition to any resume. Plus, one of the only ways to ensure you have more money is to make more money.

Don’t Follow Other People’s Budget

Although there are many helpful budgeting books and articles out there that promise to solve all your financial woes, you are better off ignoring them. This is because although it is great to experiment with budgets, they will not work if you must force them to fit your financial strategy.

Following a budgeting method that does not work for your lifestyle will eventually lead to failure. Instead, try to take different budgeting methods and combine them to create something unique to your life. Take inspiration from popular methods and create a budgeting system that you can stick to, especially in the long run. 

Make Your Savings Work For You

Investing your money for the first time can be overwhelming, and it’s smart to educate yourself before doing so. While you’re doing your research and making your investing plan, you should consider keeping your money in a high-yield savings account. For instance, digibank offers almost 7 percent interest on your savings, which means that your money will grow a lot faster than in a regular savings accounts. You can find out more about digibank here.

Map Out Your Objectives

Money management is much more than making sure that your bills are paid on time. The theory of financial wellness works in the same manner as that of physical wellness. Take, for instance, the fact that going to the gym is a step towards physical wellness, but it is hard to go to the gym every day if the only motivation you have is “just 10 pounds to lose”. However, if you begin to understand the effect of every day exercise on your daily life and how it can impact your life-long health, it becomes easier to implement a healthy routine in your life. The same is the case for financial well-being because small yet consistent steps today can pay rich dividends down the road. 

So if you have been struggling with finances, it is time to revisit your objectives. While your objectives are not the same as the consumption goal, it is good to take that into account as well. This means that your financial wellness must include the feeling and outcome of your financial efforts.

For example, take a goal like buying a home. Buying a house is the “consumption” goal, but it’s not your “why.” Instead, your why might be, “I want to provide my family with a secure place to grow,” or I want to put roots down and feel like this city is my new home.” These mindset shifts are subtle, but they play a compelling role that is just setting aside some money in your head when you think about a financial milestone. These are the very feelings that keep us motivated and sticking to an action plan when it feels more natural to splurge on unexpected expenses.  

Track Your Progress

Finance fatigue is a real thing. There are multiple apps, platforms, and websites for us that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices available to us for tracking our financial growth and progress. But seeing a dramatic change in your financial future is genuinely motivating, which is why it is essential to find a path that works for you. When you spend time setting your financial goals, reviewing your overall long-term financial investment and personal financial bucket-list, it becomes easier for you to manage money strategically and profitably. 

The important part is to make a start and continuously stick with it — checking in on yourself at reasonable intervals that make sense for your income and lifestyle. You could almost call it a budget date with yourself — almost.

Bonus tip – Get Rid of Peer Pressure

Last but not least, you need to stop letting peer {or family} pressure from negatively affecting your money mindset. While your family and friends may mean well, but if you are constantly pressured to spend money to keep up socially or maintain your status, it is essential to have a money reality check. Everyone has experienced peer pressure when it comes to spending money, but it is equally important to set the right financial goals and protect them. 

The term protect may feel like an odd choice, but that’s what you need to do. Trying to stick to your financial goals is not enough; it is equally important to stick to your budget, pay your debts, and save for retirement. Saying “no” to the occasional happy hour or girl’s weekend won’t destroy any real friendships, and can be the key to a healthy financial life.

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