Life doesn’t get much better than connecting with family and reflecting on your many blessings as you enter the new year.
Here are 8 ideas to help improve your happiness and financial freedom in 2017!
1. Experiences not stuff!
Studies show that experiences, shared with others, make us far happier than stuff. This past year, Krisstina and Garry and their college-age kids went on a trip to Costa Rica, and had an amazing time. Experiences like a family vacation will have a much bigger impact and provide longer-lasting joy than an material expense.
Choose to invest in what makes life truly rich and helps you stick to your own wealth-building goals.
2. Stick with an investor mindset.
The most freeing and empowering thing that you can do for your financial life is to view everything as an investment. It’s imperative to establish where to put your money (and time and energy) for the greatest return. For you, your family, and your friends. And be clear. You can’t invest money that you don’t have. How much can you afford to invest without starting the New Year saddled with additional debt?
Make 2017 the year where you become financially free, not the year where you feel any more despair over money.
3. Pay cash.
The interest charged on your credit card balance adds substantially to your total spent. Don’t give this money to your bank! Remember, if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it!
Now by “cash,” we don’t necessarily mean the green stuff. You can put your purchases on your credit card, but ONLY if you can pay off the balance in full when the statement comes. And no cheating!
4. Get creative with gifts, all year long.
Make your own granola, fudge, jam, pottery, hand-knitted scarves… you get the idea. Pinterest is full of DIY gift ideas. In addition to saving you money, collaborating on homemade gifts offers a spectacular way to spend time with your kids or partner. Our favorite gifts to receive are almost always the homemade ones. A beautiful hand-knitted scarves can be far better than any ever bought in a store. And we love all of the homemade treats that are naturally free of GMOs, trans fats, and other man-made additives.
5. Toy Joys!
We all want to give our kids the best, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that means buying them the latest and greatest toys. Not so! They grow out of clothes, toys, and books so quickly. Many times, things are forgotten not long after they’re out of the box! All of these pre-loved clothes and toys have to go somewhere, and they’re usually available for resale in great condition for a super low price at garage sales or online.
Another great idea: add a few dollars to your 2017 holiday fund by selling some of the gear your own kids have outgrown.
6. Don’t go overboard decorating.
Pull out your favorite decorations… the simple, fun classics. A few carefully-placed items can bring bring stylish festivity to any gathering.
Now is a great time to buy all of you holiday 2017 decorations, bows, and wrappers. Save 50% to 75% on the exact same things by waiting. An additional bonus is that when you open you “Christmas Stuff” storage box, you have all sorts of new things. It’s like the holidays coming early!
7. Make your party a potluck.
If you’re planning on hosting a party at your home, ask that everyone bring a side dish. Alcohol is another major expense, so consider making your party BYOB. It’s easy to position this in a positive way: bringing food and drinks allow everybody to share new tastes with each other.
8. Do a Google search for coupon codes.
You can often save at least 15% or even more if you simply have a code to use at checkout. We did a quick search and found a few sites:
Another amazing resource is called Honey. This is a Google Chrome plugin that actually automatically applies the best coupon code at checkout. We highly recommend it!