Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Resolution Ideas for 2017

Well it's 2017 and we all know what that means. We set our resolutions as we enter the new year with zest and zeal as we look towards a clean slate.  Not every year goes as planned. Sometimes it ends up better than you expected, and in some cases worse. I can guarantee that if you follow all of the resolutions below you are one step closer to reaching financial success. 

Here are resolutions for everyone to consider this year. Obviously since we like to talk about investments, and money this will be the overall focus. Without wasting anymore time(one of my resolutions for the year) let's get to it.

1.  Start Budgeting - Believe it or not this is a key component to gaining wealth.  A business keeps track of every penny. You should also track every penny as your run the business of YOU! If you don't know where the money is going how can you figure out how to keep more of it? In this day and age it's easier than ever for individuals to track their income and expenses, and set a budget.  Fortunately MAD Consulting offers a FREE Online Budgeting and Net Worth Tracking App.  It comes with zero advertising, and is completely free to everyone in the world. I'm honored to be able to offer this to everyone.  Simply click on the link above and get started.

2. Start Investing - If you do resolution number one you should be able to eliminate money leaks faster than you can blink. This will free up tons of cash for you to start investing so your money can go work for you, instead of you working for it.  Investing money is essential if you ever want to dream of actually retiring one day.  Seriously don't delay.  If you want MAD Consulting to handle your funds with our diversified, risk appropriate approach please contact us. You can get started with as little as $5k, and in some cases even less(contact us for details). Make this the year you stop being envious of rich people, and make yourself one. They do after all invest their money religiously. 

3. Invest In Yourself - It's no secret that teaching yourself a new skill is extremely valuable.  If you've been debating about going back for your MBA, or college in general this should be the year. It's well documented degree holders earn more.  Just make sure you get your education in a field that has prospects for high paying jobs.  You don't want to end up with a degree that results in a student debt bomb, aka a life of servitude. I get asked by people often what are good fields to study so I tell everyone the best areas to study are Engineering, Math, Science, and Business.  This list proves I'm correct. Also if college isn't your thing don't worry. There literally thousands of high paying jobs in the trades. Best yet you can get some of your construction experience by helping others! Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity or other local groups that build homes for the needy. It's a double win. Or you can always self teach yourself any other new skill by learning from books, or practicing on your own time. All it takes is a little ambition.

4.  Save Your Health & Wallet - It's a no brainer that being healthy is good for us. I'm a big proponent of being healthy for a variety of reasons so listen up.  What if I told you there is a way to get exercise for free and save tons of money?  It's sounds so good it's actually true.  By riding a bike you can actually get tons of much needed exercise, and cut down your vehicle costs this year.  No membership to an overcrowded gym needed, although they can be a valuable recurring expense. By riding your bike for many of your shorter errands you'll get free exercise, fresh air sans your car pollution, and a boost to your wallet since you won't be spending money on gas & car maintenance.  I've written about the benefits of riding a bike on the blog quite a few times already.  Go ahead and search the blog for old articles. You'll be shocked to find all the ways it can help, and I have plenty more examples in the works. So this is the year you bring out the dusty bike with flat tires sitting idle in the garage and put it to good use.  I'm very grateful to own more than one bike.  I always recall the story I saw on TV of a man working in the African jungle that walked two hours each way to his job as a farm hand. He spoke about how he chose to put a new roof over his house for the family instead of buying a bike to cut down his commute time.  That's real struggleIf I knew who he was I'd donate one of my bikes to him today.  We should be grateful in this country that even a minimum wage job can get you a bicycle with less than a weeks worth of work. 

5. Become Positive - This one is also a personal resolution for me as I sometimes focus on the negative a bit to much. I like to think it's a side affect of worrying over the worst case scenario for economics and investing. What can I say I take this seriously.  Either way by becoming a more positive person a lot of things can happen. You'll not only feel better, but you'll create a tidal wave of goodwill.  This can translate into a promotion, uncovering new opportunities, a pay raise, and making plenty of new positive friends. All from just changing your attitude. The best way to accomplish this is by surrounding yourself with other positive people.  Since we tend to congregate with people similar to us, having lots of positive people and vibes by your side will be one of the keys to making this resolution stick. As my Grandpa and Dad would always tell me "If you hang with shit you'll stink like shit".  That advice definitely helped me navigate my teenage years with success. So it's analogous to "If you hang with negative people you'll be a negative person".  Flip the magnetic poles around and stick to the positive side in 2017. 

6. Start Saving - I threw this last one in just in case you decided to skip to the end.  If you don't have a savings account get one. You don't want to end up like the other 70% of Americans. It's my personal goal to rectify this national endemic.  Even if you start with just $1 a week then up it to $2, $3, $4.....you get the idea.  There are a variety of saving strategies out there.  I recommend to people that you just automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck to a separate savings account, and consider it money you can't spend on shiny new things that bring zero long term happiness.  Whether you save every $5 bill into an envelope in your sock drawer, bring the piggy bank out of retirement, or start selling unused items to jump start your savings fund. Just go do it! Not sure what type of saving strategy is best for you? Then seriously contact me and even if it took us 5 hours to figure out what works for you then so be it. 

Hopefully these 6 resolutions offer an alternative to the normal standbys.  Take some time to consider a few, or all of them.  

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