I have a love-hate relationship with New Year – the latter largely exacerbated by the incessant use of the term ‘new year’s’ by Americans and wannabe Americans. ‘What are you wearing for new years?’, ‘oh my gaddddd, who are you gonna kiss at midnight on new years?’, ‘oh come on Janet, it’s new years!’. CALL IT NEW YEAR OR NEW YEAR’S EVE.

Anyway, I love it because it’s a chance to start a fresh, feel like something has ended and that something new is being reborn. It’s a chance to set intentions, make a change, take risks, do something you’ve always wanted to do. I’m starting to sound like a Kelly Clarkson song, but you know what I mean.

But at the same time I hate it, because it’s filled with such possibility and potential, but all too often I end up wasting that chance and continuing the same trashy habits I’ve always had (lol at me failing at life).

The best way to avoid doing exactly that, is to set realistic goals and resolutions with timelines.

If making financial changes is on your radar for 2019, these New Year’s Resolutions for your money might kick you into gear and shift that mindset in the direction you want. Or you can choose to ignore them like 99% of other resolutions…there’s not a smidge of judgement here.

Commit to a Budget

No matter how simple, no matter how conservative, the first time you try something and stick to it is an amazing feeling. You could start by taking my free Budget Babe in 7 Days Course to get you going, if you need a bit of help working out how best to set a budget.

Do a No Spend Challenge

Some will be committing to a No Spend Year, most likely inspired by Michelle McGagh’s best-selling book. If that’s not for you, try a no spend week, or no spend month. Shorter bursts are far more achievable, and you might even find the entire thing enjoyable, as it’s short enough for the novelty not to have worn off!

Read a Finance Book

It’s a small resolution but an important one. I’m not saying you need to throw out your copy of Girl on the Train and start reading investment strategies instead – there are some really interesting, really understandable finance books out there at the moment. Deciding to read just one means you’re making a commitment to your finances, and that’s an incredible thing.

My absolute favourite finance book at the moment is Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup.

Others to put on your list are:

Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley

Unf*ck Your Finances by Mel Browne

The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by Robert T. Kiyosaki  (an oldie but a goodie)

The No Spend Year – Michelle McGagh

Set a Savings Goal

Much like the budget, it doesn’t matter how conservative or simple it may be. Set a goal and see if you can reach it. For extra budget brownie points, set multiple goals across the year – or break down the goal by source.

An example goal could be ‘save $200 a month and have $2400 by December 31’. Or ‘get a $5k payrise by June 30 and make $5k from my side hustle by December 31’.

Save for High Cost Life Events

If you didn’t financially prepare for Christmas this year, please make it a goal to do so next year! The same goes for birthdays, holidays, festivals and other events. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to financially plan things earlier.

Look at your year ahead and find things that will cost you money. Then, assign a goal amount to each of them, and calculate how much you’d have to save each week to be able to comfortably afford each one. It’ll make things seem more manageable by looking at it in advance, and also open your eyes to whether you’ve planned a more extravagant year than you can really stretch to!