With a new year we all get a clean slate and the chance to reset our goals for the next twelve months. In her article this month, money coach and financial counsellor, RAEWYN BLOMFIELD provides some insight on how we can turn your New Year Resolutions into realistic and achievable goals. 

In the southern hemisphere, nearly all the large annual events come at once – Christmas, summer holiday season, and the new calendar year. No wonder we all get stressed!

The end of the year is a good time to look back and see what was accomplished and what fell by the wayside.

Last year, 2020, was a doozy. Quite a lot fell by the wayside.

For the optimists amongst us, the fresh start of the new year beckons, and with it, the New Year resolutions.

“I’m gunna join the gym, eat only natural food – no junk for me – write a budget and set my life in order for once and for all.”

And how did that go for you last year?

But do we really want to reinvent ourselves, or do we just think we should?

Recognise any of these?

  • I should spend less
  • I should have a budget
  • I should have an emergency fund.

Maybe you should do or have these things or maybe they are not necessary for you.

Would any of them make you feel less stressed, calmer and more in control? If so then choose to take action because in your eyes, they have value.

There’s been a ‘conscious’ trend for some years now.

Choosing conscious simplicity as a way of living. It might include downsizing your home, having less material possessions or being more environmentally conscious by doing your bit to save the planet.

It could even entail consciously slowing down your life and doing less.

So, let’s apply ‘conscious’ thinking to your New Year’s spending plan by consciously identifying what YOU really need to be happy.

In 2021, what’s a need for you, and what’s a want?

Karen McCall, the founder of The Financial Recovery Institute, describes it this way:

  • a need, when filled, sustains us
  • a want, when filled, entertains us
  • attempting to substitute wants for needs eventually drains

It’s not always easy to separate wants from needs.

Sometimes you only realise it was a need after it has been met, or when you slow down enough to realise you were distracting yourself by buying impulsively or out of blind habit.

It’s easy to write a list of wants, but not so easy to consider what you really need.

If you spend on wants without considering needs, you may find yourself in debt, bankrupt, or a financial hole so deep it swallows your life.

Sometimes your wants are what identify you – you’re the one in your circle with the newest car or the perfect house etc.

Don’t underestimate how hard it can be to break free of your wants.

So how do you know if your heart’s desire is a want and not a need?

If you’ve just gotta have it now, then it’s probably a want.

Spending money will not fill the hole in your life left because your deepest needs haven’t been met. These are the needs for deep friendship, laughter, the love of a partner, spiritual connectedness, physical touch.

Buying becomes a substitute to fill the void. The truth is that ‘you can never get enough of what you don’t need’.

So, this year, when you write your New Year Resolutions, think about what you need before you write down your wants.

Fulfilling needs has two coins – time and money. You may end up budgeting your time more carefully than your money.

Source: ‘Financial Recovery developing a healthy relationship with money. Karen McCall

Money coach and financial counsellor, Raewyn Blomfield, is the principal of Money Health Money Wealth. Raewyn helps people to manage their money and take control of their spending and debt so they can achieve their financial dreams. If you would like to find out more about her services you can contact Raewyn by calling her on 0468 317 259 or simply send her an email. 

General Advice Warning: This blog is not designed to replace professional advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs before making any decision as to what is appropriate for you.

Share This
Financial Counselling 2021 – Make it a New Year with New Beginnings