Guiding your life’s biggest financial moments

Personal Finance

How to prevent 2021 from being as much of a disaster as 2020

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When you wake up in 2021, you will first be able to proclaim that you are grateful for having gotten rid of 2020. The second thing you can do is declare your New Year’s resolutions.

Most people’s resolutions start with losing weight. They include going to the gym (not during the pandemic though), yoga, meditation, and Pilates (not during the pandemic). The second set of resolutions is usually focused on money (especially during the pandemic).

Does this sound familiar to you? Stick to a budget, spend less, save more, fight against the desire to continue comfort shopping. Speaking of comfort shopping, during the pandemic, 4 in 10 people reported impulse shopping to deal with stress and isolation. About 1 in 5 people are spending more now than they were before the pandemic. And of those expenses, they are over $ 1,000 over budget.

Maybe some New Years Resolutions can help us hit the reset button for those unhealthy financial habits.

Spend less and save more. It sounds easy. But what happened? Life has arrived. The car had a flat tire; your child’s soccer games have resumed and your child needs new expensive sneakers; your oldest son lost his job and he, his wife, his children and his dog came back to your house.

It’s like with your diet and fitness resolutions. You start working out, walking, running, shopping for sexy workout clothes, eating kale, throwing crisps, and feeling great every time you walk past a McDonald’s and don’t get lost. don’t stop. In February, you cut back on your workouts … your cute outfits are reordered in larger sizes, you slip into mint chip ice cream (because is green) as a daily food group and you pledge to start your health and fitness by spring.

Spend less… save more? Are you kidding? No. Here is the reality; The average American would have to borrow to cover an emergency of $ 400. Part of life passes Is that right will happen, and we have to plan for it.

You don’t want your kids to see the stress you go through living paycheck to paycheck. You want to give them a legacy, a future. Hey, maybe focusing on someone else for your resolution will help you stick to it this time around. Perhaps you should resolve to help the younger generations in your family prepare for a better future.

If you are a new parent or a new grandparent, as soon as your loved one becomes pregnant your first thought should be how can I resolve to help provide a future for that child: college; that first house? Instead of having a baby shower, where your friends give the couple a bunch of rough, dry-clean-only outfits that the baby will throw up on and go into the “gift stack”, give that child something precious. , and start this habit.

I recommend a company called They have an easy to use app for parents, friends and family to collectively invest in a child’s financial future. One feature, as a grandmother, that I love is that you can even record a message to that little one who can later really hear and see how much he is loved. They will also remind users of birthdays and special occasions so the savings continue.

Co-founders Jordan Wexler and Caleb Frankel told me about their business. I asked why they created EarlyBird. They said, “By focusing on early and permanent savings, people can truly give their loved ones the gift of financial freedom. “

How to make it a reality? Saving and investing must become one of those habits that really a habit. You brush your teeth every day. You wouldn’t say you were too busy brushing your teeth. I want you to think of savings the same way.

Save things, and it will inspire you to eliminate things that aren’t.

Move away from your smartphone. Shopping beyond the necessities won’t make you as happy as going to your child’s college graduation party. If you took that supplement, say $ 35 a week and invested it for your newborn baby by earning 5%, by the time he was ready for college, he would have over 52,000%. Now add other family members to that. Let’s say they collectively donate $ 500 per year. This would mean an additional $ 15,000, bringing the total to $ 67,000. You get the point.

Your New Year’s resolutions should also include giving and volunteering. Now is a great time to involve your children and grandchildren in helping others who are not so fortunate. People are suffering, so the need for help is great. One in six Americans (and one in four children) could go hungry as the pandemic continues. Food bank queues are at historic levels, in some cases stretching for miles. By the time you read this article, 50 million people may be food insecure.

Food banks and shelters need volunteers to pay for, package and distribute food. You can do it safely with your family. Have your children go online to find local causes in need of money and volunteers. Your children will be empowered to help and will feel good to be a part of the solution.

This involvement in giving can also influence your resolutions for next year when you don’t have to tell your kids, “You don’t know how lucky you are.” Your children will already know.

Enjoy the new year and the new you. Before you know it, you’ll be making New Years Resolutions for 2022. I just hope your new savings and spending plan is in place and you can now work on your indoor gym membership, and you you will soon integrate into the sexy of last year. training outfit.

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