Kelly Cox is kicking off our New Year, New Thing series! Kelly is a blogger who has been featured at Money Saving Mom. Welcome, Kelly!
Anyone else ever had a New Year’s Resolution “financial flop?” About mid-February I’ve often wondered what happened to those excited, grandiose plans of mine that included saving money, giving more, avoiding debt and the like! I’ve tried all sorts of tactics to KEEP my resolutions. Often, to no avail…
However, our family’s budget ended up being the secret to pull of my financial hopes and dreams.
This whole budgeting thing is simpler than you think if you have the right tools. (I can help with that part!)
A budget is simply a plan. Proverbs 16:3 says,
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.” (NIV)
I find much encouragement in that verse and know that with Him, you and I can do this budget thing!
This year, I want to offer a NEW approach to you. But first, let me be a little transparent. In the past, I’ve created lists, set goals and used a planner to help with my financial goals. I’ve jotted notes down in my prayer journal and prayed over the details of my resolutions. These tactics showed good effort and worked for some goals. However, I found that I would quickly lose interest, forget my goal or feel like I was “going it alone.”
I realized that a change in my methods was necessary.
Today, I want to share my 4 part system that will help you to attain financial success this year!
1. Create a Budget
A BUDGET (and the Lord!) helped me to become a better financial steward of the resources God has given me. Who wouldn’t want to give more and live without the burden of debt? Luke 1:37 says,
“For with God, nothing is impossible. (NKJV)”
Creating a budget may seem like a daunting task; however, a plan in place will show you what you actually spend. A budget allows you to manage your money rather than your money managing you! I’m able to save, give and spend more strategically since we created our budget.
I’m a big believer in accountability. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.” (NIV)
What about asking someone to hold you accountable for your money goals this year? If you are married and have a financial resolution, perhaps you and your spouse could hold each other accountable. If you are single, share your goal with a friend or family member and set up checkpoints to discuss your progress.
You may even need to consult a budget coach or financial planner to hold you accountable. Accountability often provides you with prayerful support and encouragement along the way. We never plan to fail but often we fail to plan. An accountability partner helps to keep you on track with your goals.
3. Visual Reminders
Does the phrase out of sight, out of mind sound familiar?
As I’ve tried to “pull off” my resolutions, I realized that I needed a visual reminder. For example, I found that a note, verse, quote or picture of what I’m working toward should be in a prominent place for me to see often. Consider putting these reminders on the visor of your car, the kitchen window, bathroom mirror or even your computer screen.
Keep the goal in your line of sight so that it stays fresh in your mind. Also, set tasks in your phone or email to remind you of your specific steps that you need to work on. A visual reminder helps me to not lose sight of the big picture!
4. Small Rewards
A reward system makes goal setting more fun. Try to set a few benchmarks as you work toward your financial goals with incentives to keep you inspired. When you hit these mini objectives, then reward yourself! Do you want to go for coffee with a friend, try a new restaurant or buy a new dress? Enjoy something that is reasonable, fits within your budget plan and fun for you! These treats will be a blessing, you’ll feel encouraged and a little reward will spur you onward.
I’ve got several financial resolutions for 2016. I plan to incorporate this 4 part system, prayer and hard work to pull off my resolutions. I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store. Happy New Year and many blessings to you!
Kelly is a Christ follower, blessed wife, mom to be and a lover of all things home. She blogs over at www.KellyCoxAtHome.com about her journey at home, freelance writing and passion for debt-free living. She hopes to encourage others in that goal, while sharing tips on how to manage and enjoy all things that make up HOME!
Do you have financial resolutions or goals for this year? What challenges do you think you’ll face?