The first month of 2021 is over, and it is the perfect time to check on the goals we set up for this year. Intending to keep my goals on track this year, I am doing a couple of things to help myself not fail at my 2021 resolutions, and I want to share them with you here:
1st: Review your January expenses to create a realistic budget for 2021: If you have not worked on your annual budget, this is the perfect time to create one for 2021. The first thing I suggest you do is going over your bank statements and review all your spending for the past month. Categorize your expenses and highlight those that will repeat every month. This will help you to know how much you need for your necessary expenses and how much from your income you can use towards savings and towards entertainment expenses. If you already created a budget for 2021, this exercise will help you to check if you created a budget that you can keep throughout the year. When categorizing expenses that won’t repeat in other months, think about expenses that could come up instead for that same expense category. Remember to have in mind your financial goal for the year and to set up an amount each month that you will put towards your savings.
2nd: Select the type of budget that best fits YOU: There are many budgets available out there to help you work on your financial plan. Make sure you choose a budget that works for you and that is easy for you to keep. Keeping track of your expenses can be a tedious task, but you can choose a budget plan that makes that task easier or that allows you the flexibility you need to stick to your financial plan throughout the year. Some examples of popular budgets are the 50/30/20 budget, the zero-dollar budget, or the envelop system budget. There are many others out there and you can adjust them to your own budgeting style. Regardless of what you choose, remember that budgeting is essential to achieve your financial goals faster. Choose one and try to stick to it as much as you can this year. If you need some guidance, you can find a lot of information online from different institutions or by following reliable social media accounts that provide budgeting guidance. Social media can be an excellent and digestible way to better understand financial planning.
3rd: Select one activity that you would like to master this year: If you have a personal project that you have been putting aside or a new skill you want to learn, take this opportunity to create a plan to work on it this new year. Make a plan to become your best at that new skill you have been wanting to learn, or at that project you’ve been looking to complete (or just make some good progress on it). Just as planning for your finances, project a plan to take some time from your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule to practice that skill or work on that project. It does not have to be every day or for long periods of time, but make sure to write down a plan. It will help you keep yourself on track. It can be a new sport, learn a new dance, learn a useful tool for work, a DYI home project, or anything that interests you and that would keep you motivated this year. The most important part of this is that you schedule the time to do it. Write it down. It really helps to write down your action plan so you can go back to it throughout the year and see how much you’ve progressed.
I hope you are having a very productive 2021!