Welcome to a new year! Now is the time for a fresh start and some new goals.
A good goal must be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. When it comes to personal finance, it’s easy to get overly ambitious and lose steam within a few weeks. Big dreams like saving for the future, or becoming debt free, are often far too lofty and vague to be attainable. Instead, we’ve broken down four mini goals, or challenges, for the month of January to get you thinking about your finances.
Below are specific, achievable challenges that involve the whole family. It’s a fun way to use the beginning of the year to focus on little accomplishments you can feel good about. Once you have finished these mini goals, consider a larger goal you would like to tackle this year.
Choose one book, article, or podcast episode that relates to personal finance. Whether you are looking to get out of debt, start investing, or teach your kids about finance, there are tons of resources available that will point you in the right direction. Educating yourself is the first step to setting a realistic goal for the long term. Do some digging to find appropriate resources for your kids and let them choose a book as well. It’s never too early to learn the ins and outs of money.
Do it yourself
Choose one item you usually buy throughout the month and make it instead! This could be your morning coffee, Friday night pizza, or a household cleaner. Invite the kids to help you make your next creation. Or choose one service you generally pay someone for and learn how to do it yourself. Consider changing your own oil, cutting your kid’s hair, shoveling the walk, or painting the bedroom yourself.
Pay it forward
Choose one local organization to support. Brainstorm topics that you are passionate about as a family. Start investigating which organizations in your area are making a difference in the topic you choose. Give a one-time gift to the organization you choose and make sure you involve the kids. This is a fun way to teach them about giving back to their community. Keep an eye on any events the organization might be hosting in the future and see how you can further get involved.
Choose one monthly subscription or membership to ditch. Think about all those trial subscriptions you started and forgot to cancel. Do you really need four tv streaming services? Maybe a trip to the library can replace that e-book service and get you out of the house. And how often are you going to the gym, really ?
Once you have completed these small goals, start to dream a little. Make sure your bigger goal is specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. With this in mind, you just might tackle your resolution this year!