Welcome to 2023. Why not start a new habit this year?
It could be physical, financial, relational… you name it. Do it!
Since this is primarily a financial blog, here are three financial habits to consider implementing.
- Increase your monthly retirement contribution. Start small. Here’s a jingle for ya’: “Better to start small, than nothing at all.” It may be hard to motivate yourself for $100 surge, but, as habit maestro James Clear writes, “Solve this problem by picking a new habit that is easy enough that you don’t need motivation to do it. Rather than starting with 50 pushups per day, start with 5 pushups per day…Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.”1 Wherever you’re at, increase it. If $500 seems like a lot, do $100. If $100 seems too difficult, do $25.
- Spend less on one thing so you can spend more on something else. Ramit Sethi, a bestselling financial author, calls this turning up money dials. Identify one area of life you love spending money on and then “cutting back mercilessly on the things you don’t care about.”2 Love convenience, but don’t care too much about travel? Cancel expensive vacations and crank up spending on paying someone to clean the house. Make sure to implement this into your budget.
- Give more to charity. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, giving not only blesses the person you gave to, but it can increase your own happiness. Do some research on the best organizations to support locally or internationally. Then give a specific amount every month or quarter.
Which one are you going to do? Got one picked?
Next step: tell someone else you are going to do it. According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, for some people, it’s better for this external accountability partner to not be a friend, but a professional who can “provide the crucial accountability by setting concrete goals, establishing deadlines, and looking over their clients’ shoulders.”3
Here’s an idea: How about your financial advisor? Make it a part of your quarterly reviews to do a check-in on how you are doing with your new commitment. Consider us.
C’mon - you too can add just one new habit this year!