How are your New Year's resolutions going? Still going strong? Good for you!
Was one of your resolutions was to "save more and spend less"? Did you take my advice last week to bump up your retirement plan contributions by 2%? If you didn't, then do it now! (You'll feel really good once you do. You'll already be "saving more" and at 50% to your goal.)
"Spending less" is a bit harder because you can't put it on autopilot. But you can get close….
First, let's adjust your resolution. Why? Because "Spending Less" doesn't meet the experts' requirements for successful goal setting. They say goals should be:
- Ambitious, but achievable
- Related to behavior, not results
"Spending less" is related to behavior, but it's awfully vague so who knows if it's ambitious?
Let's improve "spending less" to "I will login to my Financial Zen Client Portal every day and look at my transactions until 12/31/2017." (You can also use www.mint.com if you're not a client.)
1) Specific - once a day until 12/31/2017
2) Ambitious - be honest, that's more attention than you've ever paid to your spending
3) Related to behavior - you're just logging in and observing
That commitment will take you 45 seconds each morning. (I know because I do it.)
How can something so simple have such a positive effect on your behavior? Because what you think about becomes reality.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill first explored this concept in 1937. Since then every self-help guru from Tony Robbins to Zig Zigler has also preached it's gospel.
What you think about becomes reality. Mr. Hill explains that if you think about becoming wealthy every day, the universe conspires in your favor and opportunities present themselves.
Similarly, taking action each day by simply logging in to look at your spending, you will keep your goal top of mind. By keepingyour goal in focus, you will find yourself making daily decisions which will move your towards your goal of spending less.
It sounds like voodoo, but it works. I know because I do it. I have successfully stuck to my spending plan every month since I started. (For the record, I am NOT a saver by nature. I'm a spender like most people.)
It will require a little bit of extra work up front. But once we get you up and running, 45 seconds a day is all you'll need.
Schedule 30 minutes with me and I'll help get you set up. After that you'll be onyour way to both spend less AND save more in 2017.