This is a great time of year to think about how you’re going to handle your kids, your finances, and your kids’ finances. These can be handled the same way you approach all fresh starts:
- Don’t dwell on anything that’s happened in the past. Those mistakes you made before? They’re gone, man.
- Keep it simple! The more complicated the plan, the more likely you’re going to give up on it. Think of something so easy, even a ten-year-old could do it. Then sell that plan to your ten-year-old, or have him be your accountability partner.
- Have an accountability partner. Tell someone about your goals, and have that person check up on you. For a real challenge, share your goal with a huge crowd (Facebook?) and then see how cool it is when your friends’ support starts piling in.
- Focus on a small number of goals for the year. One is fine. Three might be too many.
But the single biggest piece of advice I have is this:
You might not have it figured out yet, exactly what your goals are, or how you’re going to accomplish them. But you probably have a feeling… So Just Move. Do something small (right now!) if it feels like it might get you closer to your goal. And keep working on that goal, because without goals, it’s going to be hard to continue finding the motivation to just move.
Start taking action now. Take some action, even a small one, every day.
What could you do right now?
- if you’re not tracking where your money goes (in Quicken or , go open an account at Mint or mVelopes) and start controlling where your money goes, rather than learning about it after the fact.
- go set up a recurring monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account – even if it’s only $5.00, it’s a start, and something you can build on.
- have a conversation with your kids about money – do they have a clear picture of the value of their gadgets, their activities, and where that fits in the larger scheme of the family’s resources?
It’s the new year – time for a Fresh Start. Don’t miss this opportunity, and don’t worry if you don’t have all of the details worked out yet – Just Move!