Resolutions for a better financial future

Investing Resolutions You Can Keep

four people celebrate with champagne in front of gold 2022 balloons

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Wow, 2022, huh?

This time last year, we were hoping that the turning of the calendar page would herald the end to a tough year, and brighter times ahead.

That wasn't, unfortunately, to be the case.

This time around, we weren't so keen.

Not only were many of us reconsidering New Year's Eve plans, as cases surged around the country, but we weren't so naive as to assume a new digit at the end of the year would mean the end of our troubles.

Now, as you likely know, I'm an optimist. And – cross your fingers as I tempt fate – I do hope and expect we'll finish the year in a better state than we started it.

So the fact that we're about to tick over into a third year of dealing with the pandemic is cause for disappointment, but not the abandonment of hope.

I'm disappointed with facets of the various governments' handling of the pandemic, to be sure, and I hope they do better in future. But while we should expect accountability for past mistakes, we should always continue to look forward, too.

We've been through tougher times before, and come out stronger. We will, again.

At the same time, we're almost a week through the new year. Time enough for some people to be making real traction on New Year's resolutions, while others may have already faltered.

To be honest, I'm not really a resolutions kinda guy.

But I do like the fact that for many people, a new year is a mental and emotional opportunity to leave the old behind, and focus on the new.

No, there's nothing magical about an arbitrary point in a solar calendar. We can 'start again' or 'start from scratch' at any time. But we know from behavioural psychology that external prompts or social 'norms' can give us a running start.

So that's good. And if that's you, I want to ask you to consider making some New Year's resolutions for your finances, to get 2022 (and the rest of your life) off to a cracking start.

And if, like me, you kinda shun the whole idea, perhaps you'll consider what follows as what it is – just a common sense set of concepts that I reckon, put together, will improve your finances.

So, here's to 2022.

And to 2023.

And to 2030… and many, many more years into the future, at which point I hope you'll look back on 2022 as the year in which some decisions made, and habits formed, set you up for a bright financial future.

No, they're not new. There's little in investing that truly is. Instead, financial success is far more likely to come from doing the simple things, repeatedly. So, without further ado…

Here are 13 New Year's Resolutions that I hope will be a touchstone to help you on that journey.

13 Foolish New Year's Resolutions

To help you become smarter, happier and richer

1. I will live below my means — spending less than I earn.

2. I will save money into a rainy-day fund so I'm ready for what life might bring.

3. I will pay off my credit card debt, and then only spend what I can pay off within the interest free period each month.

4. I will regularly add to my investment account.

5. I will invest money I don't need for at least 3-5 years to build my nest egg.

6. I will learn more about investing, taking control of my financial future.

7. I will invest in quality businesses, buying a slice of the company, not just a code on a screen.

8. I will buy shares in a company with the intention of holding them for the long term.

9. I will sell when my investment thesis fails, the company is overvalued or I have a better idea.

10. I will avoid anchoring my decisions to the price I paid for my shares.

11. I will remember that the market can be moody and over-react, both on the upside and the downside.

12. I will expect volatility, and I won't let it spook me into selling. Indeed, volatility can offer me great opportunities!

13. I will let the market offer me prices (be my servant), not dictate my mood or actions (be my master).

(Want a printable version? I'm glad you asked. Here it is!)

Fool on!

Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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