If the New Year isn’t so new anymore and you’re slacking on those resolutions again, here’s some help from your friends at TexasLending.com. While we can’t do anything about your diet, our mortgage experts can offer advice on how to keep your financial New Year’s goals on track.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to stick to a budget?
TexasLending.com: When we’re talking about New Year’s budgets, it’s mostly that people don’t plan ahead. It’s just kind of a generic resolution people make, like “getting in shape.”
Q: So, you are saying that people aren’t specific enough?
TexasLending.com: Exactly. When I make a broad statement like, “I am going to save money,” I don’t really have anything specific holding me to that. But if I think more in terms of, “I will quit drinking expensive coffee shop drinks and brew my own at home,” then I have something specific that if I start to do it, I will trigger a response to avoid spending that money. It really all boils down to making a detailed plan and sticking to it.
Q: Is it easier to quit my excess spending “cold turkey” or taper off over time?
TexasLending.com: Pretty much any lifestyle change has to be made over time. Again, you can compare saving money to losing weight. At the beginning of every year, thousands of people flock to the gym 4 or 5 times a week after not sweating for years. Soon, the momentum wears off and they are back to couch surfing by early March. The same thing happens when we cut all of our leisure spending instantly. You will likely relapse within months and be no better off in December as you were back in the previous January.
Q: How big should a person’s savings goals be?
TexasLending.com: Well, that depends on the person, their situation, and their desired outcome. For those that need to save big we offer this advice: acknowledge your progress. If you are saving for a big vacation, for example, let yourself buy a piece of luggage or swimsuit when you hit the halfway mark. Small milestones mean the world when it comes to feeling like you’re doing the right thing for your bank account!
4100 Alpha Rd
Dallas, TX 75244