10 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Stick to:
- Keep track of your spending.
It is important that you know how much money you are spending and how much money you are making each month. If you haven’t already, begin to keep a simple checking account in an Excel or Google Sheets document so you know how much you are spending and saving. Calculate your totals each month to determine whether you need to cut back on your spending.
- Make your own snacks.
Rather than stopping at Starbucks for your daily coffee or buying junk food from a vending machine at school, pack healthier- and cheaper- snacks from home. Not only will you be eating healthier, but you’ll be saving loads of money that would otherwise be spent on snacks. Checkout this blog for ideas on after school snacks to make: http://www.cheaprecipeblog.com/2013/09/50-cheap-after-school-snacks/.
- Put $20-$100 a month into a savings account.
Depending upon your income, pay yourself first by putting a bit of money into a savings account every month. Personally, I work a pretty profitable part-time job, so I usually save $100-$150 a month. Paying yourself first is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and it isn’t hard to follow.
- Use a reusable water bottle.
Rather than spending a couple dollars a day on plastic water bottles, save the environment and invest in a reusable one like this from the FBLA Marketplace: http://www.fblamarketplace.com/default.aspx?p=viewitem&item=FB4048&subno=&showpage=6&subcat=.
- Create a budget
When you create a plan for how much you want to spend, it will be easier to save money. After evaluating your spending, create a budget on how much you will plan to spend each month in certain areas. By limiting the amount of money you spend on entertainment or food, you will be able to have more money on hand for emergencies or costly purchases. Also, you can pay yourself first and put more money into your savings account.
- Participate/plan a chapter fundraiser.
When your FBLA chapter saves money, you do too. Assisting in a fundraiser for your chapter will mean less payments in order to participate in different FBLA events and conferences. Better yet, plan a chapter fundraiser specifically to reduce the cost of a State or National Leadership Conference for your members. For ideas on fundraisers to do, look at this article:https://www.easy-fundraising-ideas.com/programs/high-school-fundraising/.
- Read a financial book.
When you want to be successful on your history exam, you read a history book. Similarly, if you want to be really good at your finances, you need to read books about it. For books written directly for teens, check out http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/071615/7-finance-books-every-teenager-should-read.asp?optly_redirect=integrated&lgl=myfinance-layout-no-ads.
- Exercise once a week
Science says that working out makes you more financially conscious and intelligent. Getting healthy doesn’t necessarily involve spending all your money on an expensive gym membership though! You can use online workout videos, go for runs around your neighborhood, or bike around your community for free!
- Collect your change
When you make a purchase and pay with cash, pocket the change and add it to a piggy bank when you get home. Slowly but surely, you will gain quite a bit of cash from your piggy bank. Once your piggy bank is full, use the money to treat yourself or for something you’ve been waiting to buy!
- Give money
Giving money makes us more conscious of the money we have and the value of money. Next time you’re in line at Starbucks, pay for the guy behind you. When you’re walking through a toy store and you notice a little child staring longingly at a toy, buy it for them. Take your siblings out for a treat, or donate the money to a charitable cause. Whatever you give your money towards, you will know that using money to help others is much more profitable than using it to buy materialistic possessions for yourself.
Finally, I suggest committing to no more than 3 of these goals for 2018. It will be easier to find financial success if you don’t overwhelm yourself. Make smart choices and happy 2018!
Executive Assistant of National Treasurer (2017-18)