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New Year Resolutions & Money

It's that time again when most of us make New Year Resolutions. Dieting always tops the list, but so does money management.

Pres. Trump and Congress has successfully passed Tax Reform - the first time in three decades - with a promising $2,000 savings per average family. 

So, the question to each of us is: what are we going to do with that extra money?

At the risk of sounding too simplistic, while we can celebrate the increase, let's not just party-away the savings, because none of us are omniscient and know what the future will hold. No matter what the national economic situation is, each of us are responsible to protect our personal financial sitution now, and for the future.

So, two practical things that all of us can do right now is to evaluate our actual expenditures, and our real needs, and then apply what I'll call the '25% rule,' that author Cynthia Yates talks about in her books on money management, to help us to save even more.

Yates suggests that cutting spending by 25% is not only possible, but doable.

How? Well, for instance:

1) Simply Skip - ie instead of having that latte every morning on the way to work; skip it 1-2 times a week.

2) Mandate a Moratorium on Spending - in other words, buy only what you NEED.

3) Say No to Impulse - 50% of spending for the average person is based on impulse. Wait to purchase something, unless you really need it. Play a new game with your kids rather than buy them a new toy every time you go shopping. (You'll be modeling for them not to live by impulse spending).

4) Use Things Up - be creative with the food you already have in your cabinet and freezer; don't give in to the ease of takeout pizza, etc;  hold off on buying new clothes, wear what you have, but make it seem new by mixing your wardrobe up with accessories, etc.

5) Don't Waste - such as gasoline by driving to the store for groceries once a week instead of every day. Eat/freeze leftovers, get creative with them; consciously think of items you throw away in terms of cost, and only buy what you know you will eat.

Taking 15 minutes to figure out your actual needed expenditures can help you gauge your spending and save for the things you would really like to have, ie a family vacation, etc.

We all fall into the trap of spending on impulse, but the truth is those who prosper, either in good or bad times, prosper because they follow wisdom rather than impulse.

Happy New Year, and may all your resolutions come true!



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