By K. Bridget Schneider, CFP®, CRPC®
A new year often seems like the perfect opportunity to make some small changes in our life. Many people adopt New Year’s Resolutions like losing weight, improving health, or relationship goals. When I think of resolutions, I consider what I’d like to change to make a positive difference in my life and in the lives of those I care about. Although we are a few days into 2019, I’d like to share some of my new year resolution ideas.
Develop a Hobby
Did you know January is National Hobby Month? This is the perfect time of year to pick up a new hobby or get back into an old one that you haven’t thought about in a while! One great thing about a hobby is that it can take your mind off the pressure of work or other daily stresses. It may also help keep you from other habits you would like to kick. Take a minute and think about what you really love to do. What are you passionate about? What sparks your interest? What are you curious about? Finding a good hobby and giving yourself time for it on a regular basis could lead to a happier, and possibly even healthier you. And you may develop new friendships as well!
This resolution packs a double punch. Being a part of your community and lending a hand without getting paid in return has been shown to make people happier and give them a sense of fulfillment, but you are also potentially improving the lives of others. What an awesome benefit! Consider volunteering to read to young children or the elderly – this may only take a few minutes a month. If you enjoyed a sports program in the past but are no longer physically able, perhaps you can help so others could experience those programs. You may even look for ways to share your hobby in your community. For example, if you enjoy gardening, you can share your knowledge with others or join a group to beautify your community.
Improve Your Financial Footing
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, I always include this in my list of resolutions. I have counseled many over the years who are uncertain in one aspect or another of their financial future. So whether you are struggling to save enough for an Emergency Fund or to save enough for your retirement, consider setting a goal to improve your financial health.
Start an Emergency Fund – We recommend an amount to cover three to six months of basic expenses. However, if you are struggling to get there, a $1,000 cushion is a good start. Finding that much money overnight might be difficult, but if you can find $20/week to put away, you’ll complete the $1,000 goal by the end of the year.
Put Money Toward Retirement – The year you want to retire is now one year closer. That is true for every one of us still working, but many Americans say they are concerned about not having enough money for retirement. There is only one way to change that—start saving. Even if it’s just a little. If you haven’t saved anything yet, find out this year how to open an account, put some money in, and begin directing a percentage toward it each month.
That’s where our financial advisors may be of service. We can be your financial guide and ally to help with those financial decisions. Let us help make sense of your financial life. We offer retirement plan consultation as well as financial planning. Visit our website today, or click here to schedule an initial meeting or call with us.