Face it, we’re all going to overspend during the holidays. Just accept it and move on. But this year, when New Year’s Day strikes and the kisses and the singing are over, be prepared to answer the proverbial question about your New Year’s resolutions this way:
1. I am only going to spend money on things that I need, not things that I want. Yes, there’s a difference and for many people it takes some educating and time and re-educating about what exactly a need is versus a want. We need to eat food to live, but we want to eat lobster. See the difference? If you can dedicate yourself to only spending money on things you actually need like food, clothing, shelter, you will end up with more money at the end of each and every month. Imagine that?
2. I am going to take my credit cards and burn them in a ritual bonfire. Yes, credit card debt is not your friend and using credit cards is not necessary or required. If you need something, you can pay for it with, dare I say it, cash. Remember cash? That still exists and the basic tenet of your life should be “if I can’t pay for it with cash, I can’t get it, period.”
3. I am going to save 15 percent of my income. Ideally, I am going to aim for saving one half of my income. Yes, I went ahead and jumped from 15 percent to one half of your money. Half? Am I crazy? No, actually I’m just jealous. If you’re married and both working, you should be saving one half and living off of one income only. This is not only the prudent thing to do, but it will help you save for vacations, toys, retirement, kids, college and more all without breaking a sweat. If you’re not married or only have one spouse working, you can still aim for living on half of your income and what you lose in material items, you’ll make up for tenfold in less stress, fewer fears over money and less junk to have to clean over and over again.