Four Helpful Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions to Spend Less and Save More

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the two most common New Year’s financial resolutions are to save more money… and to spend less.

And it also should come as no surprise that most New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned by Valentine’s Day – if not sooner!

So I thought this would be a great time to give you some tips to help you stick with it.

Let’s start with tips for spending less money because if you don’t spend less, it’s very difficult – or impossible – to save more.

Tip #1 for Curbing Spending: Get the Right Budgeting Program

I know, I know! The moment many people even hear the word “budget,” they get turned off because the word conjures up “deprivation,” just like the word “diet.” But hear me out…

There are a gazillion budgeting apps and programs, so how do you know which one will proactively help you avoid spending decisions that are not in your best interests… unlike the typical programs that show you – after the fact – that you blew your budget last month on something that will soon be forgotten?

That’s where “You Need a Budget” comes in.

The folks at You Need a Budget (“YNAB”) claim users save an average of $600 by the second month and over $6,000 per year. But I have some close friends who have saved far more than that – without feeling deprived one bit! They say it’s truly changed their lives and decades of bad habits.

YNAB is different from other apps in that it’s set up to enable you to prioritize and plan, so you have money for the things that are most important to you – whatever they are.

It makes you conscious about your spending – before you spend. Most programs and apps make you aware of your spending AFTER you’ve spent the money and it’s too late to change your behavior.

So watch the one-minute video overview and then take advantage of the free 34-day YNAB trial here today.

Tip #2 for Curbing Spending: Learn the Art of “Sparking Joy”

Is it possible that a system for decluttering can be life changing?

From my own personal experience and that of my friends, I can tell you the answer is a resounding “yes!” The simple system described in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, will help you more easily deal with clutter and disorganization. And it will help you avoid lapsing back into the bad habits that trap you into an energy-sapping cycle.

The unexpected bonus of the Magic of Tidying Up is that it helps you put a stop to purchases that seem like “must haves” in the moment, but typically end up gathering dust.

And now, here are two tips for saving more money…

Tip #1 for Increasing Savings: Incremental Increases Add Up

Setting a goal that’s not very realistic can easily end up making you feel discouraged. If you resolve to increase your savings by 7% this year, for example, but you often find yourself with “more month than money,” you could be setting yourself up for failure.

What if you resolved instead to increase your savings by 2% this (and every) year? You won’t feel the pinch, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your savings will grow.

Tip #2 for Increasing Your Savings: Save More Where Your Money is Guaranteed to Grow

As we approach the 11th birthday of the longest-running bull market in history, it’s easy to feel you have to plow everything into the market, due to “FOMO” – or Fear of Missing Out.

But those of us who recall what it feels like to lose 50% or more of our life’s savings (which happened TWICE in the last 20 years), and then have it take ten or more years to recoup our losses, don’t want to make the mistake of putting most or all of our eggs in the Wall Street Casino basket again.

We often hear from people who’ve added the Bank On Yourself safe wealth-building strategy to their financial plan how much more fun and motivating saving money is  when you don’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned money when the market crashes or the economy experiences a rough patch.

They sleep well knowing the Bank On Yourself strategy has NEVER had a losing year in more than 160 years.

It enjoys growth that’s significantly greater than savings or money market accounts and CDs.

And it gives you unmatched flexibility and control of your savings as well as some juicy tax advantages.

Your money grows tax-deferred, and you can take a tax-free income in retirement, under current tax law.

You won’t get rich overnight with Bank On Yourself, but you also won’t be subject to the stomach-churning ups and downs of stocks and other volatile investments.

You’ve heard the phrase “slow and steady wins the race.” Saving for retirement is a marathon, not a sprint. Marathoners are still in the race long after the sprinters have fallen by the wayside.

How to Set Yourself Up for Your Best Year Yet… and a Lifetime of Financial Security…

Don’t you owe it to yourself to find out how to add guarantees, predictability and flexibility to your financial plan in 2020?

You can find out the bottom-line numbers and results you could get if you added the Bank On Yourself safe wealth-building strategy to your financial plan before you decide if it makes sense for your situation.

Just request a free Analysis now – while it’s fresh on your mind. There’s no obligation, and you’ll get a referral to one of only 200 Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors in the U.S. and Canada who can answer any questions you have.

But please don’t put it off even one more day. You have a lifetime of financial security to gain, so click here to take the next step:

Retirement Can Be Fantastic … If You’re Prepared

What do you think of when you think of retirement? Freedom? Enjoyment? Less stress?

You’re not alone. Most workers today associate retirement with those concepts, according to What Is “Retirement”? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age, the latest study from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But the big question is … Will You Be Ready?

Will You Be Healthy Enough to Retire the Way You Hope To?

Just 16% of Baby Boomers surveyed said their health is “excellent.” But only about half of the workers in the survey said they exercise regularly … or eat healthfully … or get enough sleep.

Here’s the issue, as laid out bluntly by life coach Peter Sage …

If you don’t make time for health, you’ll have to make time for illness.”

How successful at life can you be, when your body refuses to serve you? And it will eventually refuse to serve you if you ignore your health.

Will You Have Enough Money to Do What You Want to Do?

Two out of three workers say their big retirement dream is travel. Half of those surveyed said they’re looking forward to spending time with their family and friends. And nearly half get a smile on their faces when they think of the time they’ll have to pursue their hobbies.

The problem is this: half of those surveyed have less than $50,000 total in all their household retirement accounts.

How far will $50,000 take you? [Read more…] “Retirement Can Be Fantastic … If You’re Prepared”

Will Your Money Last as Long as You Do?

Too many people determine how long they think they’ll live based on arbitrary factors.

And nearly half of pre-retirees and retirees underestimate how long they’ll live by five years or more, according to surveys by the Society of Actuaries.

That’s a big problem when it comes to making sure your money lasts as long as you do.

And very few people surveyed understand how variable life expectancy can be: Whatever the statistics say is the average life span for someone of your age and gender, you have a 50% chance of living longer than that age.

In other words, planning for living to an “average life expectancy” is a recipe for disaster!

By age 65, men in average health have a 40% chance of living to age 85, and women have more than a 50% chance.

And if you’re healthier than average, well now you’ve got a 50% chance of living to age 85 if you’re a man, and a 62% chance if you’re a woman.

Of those turning 65 today, 25% will live past 90, and one out of 10 will live past 95, according to the Social Security Administration.

What if you’re the lucky one who hangs on until 100 or longer? You don’t know for sure, do you? But just how “lucky” will you feel if you can’t provide for yourself in those final years?

My 95-year-old mother-in-law lives in an assisted-living facility in Arizona. When her husband died, she got a life insurance settlement and has been receiving a nice pension payout every year. [Read more…] “Will Your Money Last as Long as You Do?”

The Perils of Pamela Yellen

Dale Carnegie wrote,

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Vintage Movie poster, “The Perils of Pauline—The Abduction, 6th Episode in 2 parts”—from 1914

Did your grandmother ever tell you about The Perils of Pauline? The Perils of Pauline was a 1914 series of feature films about an energetic and naive young woman who traveled the world, running into mayhem and misadventures.

Vintage Movie poster, “The Perils of Pauline—The Abduction, 6th Episode in 2 parts”—from 1914

Sounds kinda like the script of my life.

This is Chapter Three of my untold story. You can read Chapter 1, The Elephant and the Circus, here. And go here to read Chapter 2, about The Ugly Halloween Mask.

Launching My New Career

Where were we? Oh, yeah. So, I had hauled myself across the country and found a coach, Somers White, who helped me design a fabulous business plan. The teensy weensy problem was that this brilliant plan required me to do the one thing that terrified me the most. No, I’m not talking about parachuting out of an airplane while blindfolded. In my mind, this was something far worse.

My personal source of terror was speaking in public. [Read more…] “The Perils of Pamela Yellen”

4 Mistakes to Avoid to Make This Your Best Year Yet

It’s a brand new year, and I’m very excited! Are you?

Are you reviewing last year’s goals and accomplishments? Taking note of who you’ve become in the process of pursuing your dreams? Setting your sights on even more growth and achievement in 2017?

When you look at the key areas of your life – your finances, relationships, health, career and personal/spiritual growth – can you see how far you’ve come in the past twelve months?

Or when you think back to January 2016, do you realize that you’re almost exactly where you were twelve months ago?

Bummer.

Or as Yogi Berra said,

It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

If your life is beginning to feel like the movie Groundhog Day, you might be shooting yourself in the foot with one of the following four missteps:

Mistake #1: Repeating What Didn’t Work Last Year

[Read more…] “4 Mistakes to Avoid to Make This Your Best Year Yet”

Do You Have As Much Saved for Retirement As the Average Person?

How do you think you compare to other people when it comes to how much you’ve saved for retirement?

The results of a new survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal some surprising insights into America’s preparedness for retirement.

Read on for the highlights of the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey and a 6-Step Action Blueprint to make sure your money lasts as long as you do…

The survey revealed that 54% of all workers report less than $25,000 in household savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home.

That includes 26% who say they have less than $1,000 in savings.

10% have between $25,000-$49,999 saved, 10% have between $50,000 and $99,999 saved, and 12% have between $100,000-$249,999.

And how many have saved $250,000 or more? Just 14%.

Are people close to retirement any better prepared?

[Read more…] “Do You Have As Much Saved for Retirement As the Average Person?”

Slacker’s Guide to Goal Setting

Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing.”
– Alexander Woollcott

It’s still early in the year and time to set our bright and shiny new goals for the next twelve months, often with the grand title of “New Year’s Resolutions.”

Give me a break!

Aren’t we busy and stressed enough just trying to keep up with where and what we are without the added effort of trying to make our lives better? Why waste our time going after goals when we can put our feet up and watch new episodes of The Good Wife?

Besides, if we set goals, our lives might actually change – and who likes change? We’re all comfy cozy with our current problems and headaches. Why rock the boat?

However, you might be surrounded by obnoxiously chipper goal setters and goal getters harassing you to join them. Ugh!

To keep them off your back so you can join that happy 40% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions and fail within the first month, I’ve come up with some sure-fire tips:

The Slacker’s Guide to Goal Setting

Follow these pointers and you’ll never, ever have to worry about goals mucking up your perfect life! [Read more…] “Slacker’s Guide to Goal Setting”