We all have things we wish we did a little differently, but are always searching for the opportune moment to put the plans into action. A new year is a beautiful clean slate to do just that — maybe nothing as severe as the “new year, new me” thing people get worked up about, but just some small, simple things that you’ve wanted to do differently and have never found the right time to start.
I asked 11 people what they’re planning to do differently in 2018 with their money — this is what they had to say.
1. “It’s pretty unoriginal and boring, but I’m going to make an Excel spreadsheet to track every cent I spend. I’m moving in two months and I have a $800/month student loan bill to pay, so I can’t afford to be loose with my wallet.” — Madison
2. “Buying lottery tickets — one a week all year. Not necessarily going to help me, but I still want to do it. I could hit it big!” — Josh
3. “Nearly everything. But I graduated from college this year, so I am giving myself a break for not really hitting any important financial goals over the past few months. I think this year was for setting myself up to set and reach bigger money goals next year now that I’ve figured out how to survive in the real world.” — Samantha
4. “2017 was the year I got divorced, and my ex took my son because I really just had no concept of being an adult. I recently got my first job — seriously my first job ever — so I’m excited for 2018 to be the year I learn how to earn and manage money and do what I need to do for my family.” — Clare
5. “I keep reading that you’re supposed to start saving for retirement early, like in your 20s — and I know that is the way to go, but things have felt so tight since I graduated from school and entered the workforce full-time that it keeps becoming a ‘next year’ thing. But this year I think I actually have to do it. I keep waiting to start earning more money and forgetting that some people never earn more, they just get better at saving and managing it.” — Sidney
6. “I’m definitely trying to more aggressively save. I’ve been ‘saving’ for a long time now in that when I have extra money at the end of the month, it goes into savings, or if I get a chunk of unexpected money from somewhere (a gift, a random babysitting job or something like that) I’ll toss it into savings. But I don’t actually budget for savings (or anything), so I think I need to create my first real budget and add a section to it where I make sure I’m putting a lot into savings every month. I’m 26 and I want to buy a house one day and let’s not forget that it is almost impossible to do so without an extremely dense savings account.” — Marissa
7. “I moved out of my parents’ house in 2017 and used my apartment and ‘living on my own’ as an excuse to party constantly. I wanted to make friends in my new neighborhood, so I went out constantly, and I kept my at-home bar stacked so I could frequently entertain. Alcohol and nights out and bars and restaurants are expensive. I need to give a lot of that up in favor of less expensive activities in 2018 if I don’t want my funds to dry up by the middle of the year. “ — Peter
8. “Get an accountant! Because I freelance and doing taxes is so hard. I feel like it is worth the money to have someone really taking care of everything for me and making sure I’m doing everything the way I need to be.” — Daniela
9. “I still don’t have a budge that actually works for me to the point where I follow it. I have a loose plan of where my money needs to go every month, but if something comes up and I feel like adjusting it, I do without a second thought. If my budget really worked I would probably not be changing it all the time. So my plan is to make a new one that makes real sense for my life and my expenses so I actually stick to it and accomplish the savings I would like to this year. — Kristin
10. ” I need to def stop going shopping as an activity because I spend way way way too much money on clothes I only bought because *insert cool YouTuber here* went shopping today and it gave me the urge.” — Jo
11. “I’m not trying to be one of those people who vows to get fit in the new year and go to the gym every day, but I think my health and finances depend on each other getting their shit together this year. I spend so much money on alcohol and greasy post-alcohol food and I really just want to get that knocked out so I can start living the kind of life I want, where I eat a nice affordable salad and sleep 8 hours and kick ass at work and save money. It all goes together.” — Ryan
Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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