New year, new you — sound familiar as soon as January rolls around every year?
When it comes to making resolutions, be it in the new year or not, it seems as though the two most popular areas that people strive to better their habits in are fitness and finances.
In order to succeed in both, you need the right support system, the right mindset and most of all, the right tools.
So why not take on your financial resolutions with the same methods you employ to take on your fitness resolutions?
According to best-selling author and financial expert, Nicole Lapin, it all starts with a realistic attitude about moderation:
“80 percent of resolutions fail by February 1 … it’s really about being realistic. Cutting everything out cold turkey in the beginning of the year is not helpful because by by February, you likely will end up not being able to stick to it, because it’s not sustainable. I often hear people say they’re going to cut out their morning latte and that drives me crazy because I think of a financial diet like a regular diet. You should allow yourself small indulgences so that you won’t end up binging later on. If you think about a sustainable eating plan, if you allow yourself a little piece of chocolate instead of going on some crazy cleanse or whatever is a fad diet right now, you’re more likely to stick to that plan instead of binging on a big piece of chocolate cake because you’re so hungry and so deprived. We’ve all been there! So take that same mentality and come up with a really sustainable spending plan like you would an eating plan that allows for those extras and indulgences.”
Lapin suggests using online tools to help guide you along the way — specifically Eno by Capital One, Capital One’s 24-hour digital assistant:
“Personal finance can be intimidating and sometimes overwhelming and really scary for people … worrying about money does not pay your bills. You have to turn your mindset into a place of aspiration and your own personal motivation and encouragement, which overall leads to lower stress and anxiety levels. A new favorite digital tool of mine is Eno by Capital One. I like it so much because it really does look out for you and your money with potential fraud alerts, duplicate charges that can really throw people off and letting you know [when] to pay your bills with a text of an emoji which is my favorite thing ever!”
Another one of Lapin’s tips to is to team up with someone you know and trust — kind of like the concept of a gym buddy, but for your finances:
“I would say get a buddy. Studies have shown that for health or wellness, having your friends’ good habits rub off on you is something that [will make you] more likely to stick to your goals.
You’re more likely to stick to your financial goals if you have a financially fit friend holding you accountable, who is there for you, you have regular check-ins. Your financial wellness is much better achieved that way. Your friend is holding you hand when things get tough or cheering you on when you’re on the right track. I think that that’s something that can really help you stick to those financial resolutions.”
As far as laying out the groundwork to your new financial plan, Lapin abides by the three ‘E’s: essentials, endgame and extras:
“70 percent ideally going to the essentials — housing, your transportation, bills, all of that stuff. And then 15 percent should be extra, so allow yourself that latte or whatever does it for you, like a mani/pedi, a business dress that doesn’t wrinkle, whatever it is. And then 15 percent to your end game — your future self, what you’re saving for, what you’re investing in.”
Both of Lapin’s books abide by a 12-step program to getting your finances in order, and it’s that concept of breaking something so seemingly overwhelming into small, digestible pieces that set the track to overall financial success:
“Breaking all of this down into baby steps is the best way to tackle it. So today, start naming your savings. Create some savings account within your savings account so that you can change your mindset around savings, and your finances will follow. Start thinking from a place of aspiration versus deprivation in the same way that you would think about having that sustainable spending plan like you would an eating plan.”
If you need us, we’ll be working on contributing to that new Savings account we just named “Cabo Getaway!”