Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you keep them?
First, a little history on resolutions. Some 4,000 years ago, Babylonians began each year by promising their gods they would return all borrowed items and pay off any outstanding debts. 2,000 years later, Romans, encouraged by Julius Caesar, opened each year by praying to their god Janus, after whom the month of January is named.
Today, millions of Americans make resolutions every year. According to the website, Statistic Brain, the five most popular New Year’s resolutions are:
- Lose weight.
- Get organized.
- Spend less, save more.
- Enjoy life.
- Get healthy or fit.
Are you interested in making a resolution that could improve your finances? Here are 4 worthwhile vows that could well brighten your financial future in 2017, and beyond.
1) Calculate Your Net Worth
The New Year is a great time for determining what you’re worth, financially, of course. Calculating your net worth helps you to assess your financial condition and make sure that you’re well prepared for retirement. Looking closely at all your assets helps create a clear picture of where you are prioritizing your current spending and where you need to make changes in your spending and saving habits.
It’s a good idea to recalculate your net worth each year to keep on top of your progress towards your financial goals and correct any mistakes you’re making before they become overwhelming debts. Try Bankrate’s free net worth calculator to see where you are at today.
2) Boost Your Income
The Gig Economy is upon us. With over 40 percent of people participating in the gig economy, it’s now become commonplace for people to work part time. With sites and companies such as Elance.com, Uber, Flexjobs.com, and Fiverr.com you can easily turn a part-time hobby into an income-boosting side job. Be it in retirement or before, finding small part time jobs can really make a difference when you need a little extra money.
3) Make Sure Your Retirement is More Than Just Busy But Fulfilling
Rather than filling time in retirement we need to find fulfilling and purposeful activities. Time and time again I hear retirees say they’re busier than ever in retirement. And that could be true, but are you truly fulfilled? Being fulfilled in retirement is not about filling time, but instead about finding activities that bring purpose and meaning to your life. That could include learning a new hobby, volunteering or using your career skill set to do some part-time work.
Try using AARP’s Life Reimagined Life Map tool.Their well-being program offers assessments to help you discover your purpose by identifying your passions and values.
4) Give Back To Charity
Start the year off right by helping someone in need, either by making a donation or volunteering your time. One of the most effective ways to realize the value of money is to give back. You will be making a difference in the lives of others, and if you make it a monthly automatic withdrawal, you’ll have a nice tax deduction at the end of the year.
Another way to give back is to donate your time. Visit the Senior Corps website, which connects today’s 55+ with the people and organizations that need them most. The site can help you to find the organization that might be the right fit for you.
With 2017 upon us, now is a great time to determine not only what you need to do to keep your finances on track but to make a vow to improve your retirement from this moment forward.