I cannot think of a better time to get off your duff and start paying attention to your money habits. Let’s face it. You know you’ve had this as a New Year’s Resolution since, well, forever. And yes, you have perfectly good reasons for your procrastination. You need to upgrade your smartphone to the latest budget app or your dog ate your wallet. Or are you are waiting until your taxes are done, your hair is washed, your laundry is folded and the universe is in order before you take on budgets and junk? Either way, the time has come, the Walrus said, to set those excuses aside and get started.*
Here are seven suggestions that will make you one Money Smart cookie.
1. Look at your bank account regularly. Make a habit of knowing how much money you have.
2. Plan your shopping. Whatever it is, start with the need in mind and make a list. It doesn’t matter if it’s clothes, sporting equipment, or car parts. If you see something that is not on the list, don’t buy it.
3. Plan your eating. Don’t let food be a budget buster. No need to obsess, just plan a little. Before you enter the grocery store know what you’re going to make for dinner.
4. Put your coins in a jar daily. Spare change adds up. That’s how I bought my first chocolate Lab.
5. Downsize the drinks. Say goodbye to the Big Gulp and the Trenta.
6. Go to www.moneysmartweek.com to learn more ways to get smart about money.
7. Invest in yourself. Read a book, like Coin, and then talk to relatives and friends who have a good, grounded approach to handling their money. Ask what they do. Ask what mistakes they have made. Knowing theirs gives you opportunities to make your own unique mistakes (ha).
Say goodbye to being a part of Procrastination Nation and take advantage of Money Smart Week. Make it your kickoff to changes for the next twenty-one days and you may have some healthy new money habits for life.
*I paraphrased. In Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll writes, “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things.” Best poem ever.