Combine Money and Life-Style for Your New Year Resolution

 By Kathryn Katz

New Year’s resolutions inspire brazen propositions regarding life style or financial transformations – lose 50 pounds; or pay off all credit card debt. And the success rate is dubious.

So why not try a healthy combination? According to a recent survey by TD Ameritrade 27% of those polled said they are less likely to make a resolution regarding finances this year. They are more interested in health and relaxation.

That’s fine but don’t become too lax when regarding your financial future. Mixing the two is not hard. Here are some ideas: Reduce the amount of times you go out to dinner or lunch (restaurant menus are notorious for high calorie and fat entrees) and place that money in your savings account. Or you could stop your gym membership and start jogging, biking or taking walks to account for the physical exercise. And the money you save by not going to the gym can be banked.

You get the idea, merge the two so that your physical and emotional wellbeing is not compromised and your financial status improves. But before you decide on this type of resolution here are some things to contemplate.

Make a Plan: Don’t just haphazardly jump into this challenge because it will quickly turn into a predicament. You can start by writing out (or typing out) what you’d like to change — make a column for lifestyle and for financial and then start making logical pairings, such as the gym example above.   

Be Realistic: There’s nothing worse than setting the bar too high and the consequence is abject failure. It not only shakes your confidence it could also trigger a spending or eating binge because you’ll want to make yourself feel better. Reflect on your lifestyle and financial goals, make them attainable and then reach for more.

Find a Partner: Recruit a friend or spouse and have them set similar goals. You can then rely on one another and aid each other when times get tough. Determination is always at its peak when you begin the resolution, but a few months down the road motivation wanes and you’ll be at risk of falling back into the rhythm of your old lifestyle.

Find a Rhythm: With that being said, quickly get into a new routine. Set a time for exercise (before work, after work) and stick to it. Start buying healthier foods; create a budget and live by it; save the extra money. Generate a tempo so that the aspects of your new resolution become second nature – they become the new you.

Create Goals: Start with easily attainable goals; putting away a certain amount of money and losing a certain amount of weight, or whatever meets your customized plan. You may be looking to increase the amount of miles you walk per week and bolster your vacation fund. It’s all up to you but make goals so that you’ll feel good about yourself as you continue on your journey.

Combining a healthy lifestyle with a fit financial strategy will make your New Year more successful and provide you with enough confidence both personally and monetarily to take on the future. You never know what lies ahead but if you take action now you’ll be better suited to meet the challenge.