At this time of year many of us have decided on our resolutions for 2018.
The most popular seem to be:
- Give up smoking
- Lose weight
- Be more healthy
- Take control of finances
Sadly many resolutions fail early on in the New Year and often this can be due to trying to “do battle on too many fronts”. We all only have a certain amount of willpower and if we dilute this into too many areas we can lose effectiveness, a resolution fails and we feel despondent.
In his book The Mind Coach, Jamil Qureshi uses a train track analogy to explain how moving one track one degree apart from the other is barely noticeable at first but further down the line the tracks are a mile apart. The moral here being that small changes can have a big impact over time.
The key is to pick your battles and focus on one area at a time. By doing this the chance of success increases. Success breeds success and by achieving one resolution a positive attitude can result.
You may ask what does this have to do with financial planning?
Many of our clients look for help in keys areas such as retirement planning and investment advice. An often overlooked area however, is household budgeting. This can often be the key to financial freedom, as the old saying goes “look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves”.
This year why not set a goal to make a household budget by sitting down at the beginning of the month and working through the anticipated monthly outgoings and then review as the month goes on week by week. This is the key to paying off unwanted debt such as credit cards and overdrafts.
Once these are paid off, a feeling of satisfaction is likely to follow and the financial discipline now achieved can be used to save money for more exciting goals such as holidays and Christmas and long term goals such as retiring early.
Having an awareness of income and expenses demonstrates the “scarcity of resources” that most of us have and the need to deploy our money in the most prudent manner.
Warm regards and a Happy New Year
This article should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale, it contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular, strategy or investment product. Information contained has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not an indicator of future results.