The end-of-year festivities we get to enjoy annually can be a great refresher for our minds, helping us meet our family, lose stress, and enjoy a little indulgence. Of course, while this is a more than worthwhile investment, we can tend to find that such events get a little costly after a while.
For this reason, taking the time to stay disciplined in your spending for the new year can help you prevent bad habits from accruing, as well as help you build back some of your savings so you have more financial versatility going forward.
We’re also aware that yes, the first two years of this decade have been very tough for many people, and that also has an effect on our financial capabilities. For this reason, learning a few methods of staying financial disciplined in the near year can help us once again return to our overall goals, to budget more effectively using that experience as a lesson, and to move forward with a sense of renewed confidence.
Here’s how you may wish to stay disciplined in your spending throughout 2022:
Set Your Financial Goals
It’s hard to stay disciplined with anything unless we know what we’re staying disciplined for. This is because the default state is to be lazy and to ignore the actions we should be taking – so it’s important to make sure the positivity we’re chasing is much more enjoyable than just lounging around and spending on that which we like.
Perhaps you’d like to pay for an online college course at the end of the year? Maybe you’d like to move out of your apartment into a nicer area now you have a promotion? Or maybe you want to improve your disposable income in order to get fully invested into a new hobby? Whatever it is, setting your financial goals competently and coherently, with estimated deadlines, priority lists, and more can make a big difference.
Learn New Budgeting Software
Learning new budgeting software can help you keep track of your spending and income more readily, as well as categorize that as much as possible. Many banking apps are now allowing you to categorize your spending (for instance, rent or entertainment), and will give you a graph at the end of the month to showcase your expenditure.
But more dedicated apps like using a budget template in Microsoft Excel or a similar program, as well the most popular You Need A Budget or even a note-taking app like Evernote can help you keep track of every single cent or penny that leaves you or finds you, allowing you to truly see your behavior in the light of day. Even if you do spend with indulgence in the new year – you’ll be able to see exactly what it was that you deemed relevant, and how you benefited from it.
Review Your Spending In 2021
It’s always healthy to review your spending over the past year, as frightening as that may seem. Perhaps you’re very surprised at how much you spent out at restaurants and wish to limit that (although after an international pandemic we couldn’t blame you for wanting a little fun).
Here, you may also see bad habits, like how much you’ve spent in bars year-round, or that next year, you wish to travel using your own arrangements instead of seemingly more expensive package options. Reviewing your spending can help you not only be aware of your habits, but seek to minimize the bad ones and enhance the good efforts overall.
We also believe that through this effort you’ll be able to make savings where they count, such as when regarding the many little purchases we make to run our apartment or household comfortably.
Consider The ‘Two Week Rule’
A good way to discipline your spending is to implement a rule that prevents you from making impulse buys. Perhaps you see a gorgeous bag in a clothing store that you really want to take home with you. It might be that noting the model and make of such a bag, then going home to see if you can find it elsewhere for cheap is a good habit to get into.
But from then, we’d recommend waiting two weeks, or perhaps longer for more expensive purchases. If you still want it just as much after that time, go for it! Make it a part of your treat expenditure. But you’re sure to save money on a fair amount of implements to make this worth it otherwise, as sometimes, that ‘have to have it’ feeling fades quickly.
With this advice, you’ll be sure to stay disciplined in your spending throughout the near year.