Happy New Year! It’s that special time of year - time to resolve I’m going to be a better person in some way, get pumped up about my transformation for 3 weeks, and then forget about it entirely. The thing is, I know I’m not good at keeping resolutions, so I try to make them easy. Inevitably though, I find a way to not accomplish them. For example, two years ago I was going to take more pictures of the kids, or of us as a family. Super easy, right? The only pictures I ended up taking all year were of our new puppy. In fact, I took so many of the dog, I had to buy more storage on my iPhone. But the kids? Nah. Who needs childhood memories?
Last year, my resolution was to be better about keeping in touch with my friends. I was going to mail one card a week. Who doesn’t love getting mail that isn’t bills? It was a great idea. I missed the first 2 weeks, but I thought, that’s okay…I’ll mail one card a month! Want to know how many cards I sent to my friends in 2022? Zero. The answer is zero cards. I didn’t even send out Christmas cards. It was as if I thought to myself, how can I take this failure to the next level? I know! Reach out to your friends even LESS than you did last year! That should do it.
The top resolutions for most Americans seem to revolve around 2 things: health and money. It makes sense. My health is certainly something I always strive to improve, and progressing my financial situation is a given considering it’s my job. The two seem intertwined together anyway. If you’re financially sound, hopefully you have less stress, which will hopefully improve your health. I realize that’s not always the case, but there are studies that show financial stress causes lack of sleep, high blood pressure, headaches/migraines, depression, heart disease, etc. (A Surprising Connection: Financial Wellness and Your Overall Health - Healthy Boiler - Purdue University, n.d.) None of those things are good for one’s health.
At this point you may be asking yourself where I’m going with this. I realize that admitting to my own botched resolutions has inspired absolutely no one to make or keep a resolution this year, but I do have a suggestion if you are looking to aid your financial situation (and maybe help your health in the process). Invest. Look, it’s been a crazy year for the market, and no one knows what the future holds, but I do know this…the market is down. And historically when it goes down, it eventually goes back up. What does this mean? It means stock is on sale. You’ve heard of buy low, sell high, right? Now is the time to buy low.
I’m not suggesting you do anything crazy, like taking your life savings and dumping it in the market. What I am suggesting is something small and more digestible. Something like putting a little bit more into your 401(k) this year. If you’re not already maxing out your contribution, tack on another percent. You should barely notice the change in your paycheck. If that isn’t an option, open a non-qualified account and start by putting in $100/month. If that seems like too much, try $50/month. Whatever you decide to do, set it up so that it happens automatically. You don’t want to even think about it, because if you’re like me and you manually have to move the money every month or pay period, you won’t do it. This is a small change, that can make a big difference one day as long as you continue the habit and give it time to grow. In other words, don’t touch it. Set it and forget it.
If you are looking for other suggestions on how to get started or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to arrange some time to chat with you. Whatever you decide to focus on for the new year, I wish you the luck and motivation I am clearly lacking. We’ve got this!
**The opinions voiced are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.