Thursday, January 7, 2016 / Miscellaneous
The end of any year can be quite a mad rush, with Christmas and New Years coming in like a whirlwind.
As our day to day activities get disrupted amidst holiday plans, family time and a myriad of other activities; it can be easy to find yourself falling into some bad or unusual habits.
That strict diet that was a staple of regimen for the whole year is suddenly allowed to go a little more relaxed, as more helpings of pudding don’t seem like the end of the world.
We find our selves in a bit of a no man’s land, the year that has been seems and feels to be over, and the year to come has not yet truly started.
Then all of a sudden, seemingly out of no where, everything gets serious on New Years Eve.
The topics of conversation from the last few weeks shift from “what is the best beer to drink with a BBQ” and suddenly become “how are you going to improve upon yourself next year”.
You find yourself coming up with resolutions about how the next year will be different to the last.
The most common resolutions often have something to do with physical health and well being, closely followed by financial health.
When it comes to the health based resolutions, people say that they want to quit smoking, eat healthier, get in shape, or go to the gym more.
For the financial resolutions, the most common resolve is to manage your finances better, get out of debt, or to save more money than the last year.
The problem with so many resolutions are that they are not measurable or that they do not have a specific point in which you can look back and confidently state that it has been achieved.
The resolution to quit smoking is an example of a very easily measured resolution, as the moment smoking has ceased then you know you have reached it.
The resolutions to “be more healthy” or “manage your finances better” however are not particularly measurable at all.
When you take the idea of being more healthy (whether in a physical or a financial sense), then it can be easy to reflect upon your progress and be either over satisfied or under satisfied.
In the case of health, if you see that you have not eaten as much junk food or had so many beers, then you can easily tell yourself that you are doing fantastic.
The problem is that the resolution or goal is not measurable at all, it is simply expressing a desire for an increase in a reasonably ambiguous term.
If however your resolution was to make your morning ritual to do thirty sit ups and run for twenty minutes, then this is an example of activity that can be measured.
The same can be true for many of the financial related resolutions that people make.
A resolution such as “manage my finances better” can be just as difficult to measure as “be more healthy”.
Do you over praise yourself for getting no over due notices on bills? Or do you undervalue yourself for not paying off every last cent of debt already?
However, if you make a concrete and measurable goal or resolution about your finances, such as “I will pay of my credit card” or “I will purchase an investment property” then you can completely measure your success in the resolution.
When you look back at the last handful of news years resolutions, do you notice any recurring trends?
Sometimes it can feel like we are on a never ending hamster wheel of the exact same goals and challenges, simply recurring every year.
It can seem like no matter how hard we try for our health that it is never as good as we would like or as we feel it should be; the same is true for our finances.
If your resolution every year is to get on top of your finances, you need to consider the idea that perhaps something needs to change.
It can seem like a good idea to try and pay down more of your mortgage in the coming year, this can be a solid way of seeing that you are making a steady difference to your financial future. (The difference may not be as powerful as other options, check out our case study of extra mortgage repayments vs investment property here).
Taking the positive step for your future and deciding to invest in property may be a great option for really getting the ball rolling on your resolutions this year.
It can be a big step to start a property investment portfolio, yet the numbers do not lie; it can be a fantastic way of ensuring a better financial future for you and your family!
When the calendar ticks over again this year, you want to be able to look back on the year that has been and be able to say “yes, I have made a measurable and attainable step towards a better financial future this year!”