The Only New Year’s Resolution That Really Matters

We’re now two full weeks into January and during that time I’ve read a handful of personal finance articles from people espousing their resolutions for the new year with all the usual suspects dutifully mentioned:

Track your spending. Check.

Start a budget. Got it.

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Yep.

Pay off the charge cards. Good.

Pay yourself first. Uh huh.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah.

Don’t get me wrong; those are all great resolutions.

However, those noble commitments will ultimately mean absolutely nothing — bupkis, goose egg, naught, nada, zero, zilch, zip, zippo, zot — if you fail to spend less than you earn this year.

Making an annual commitment to spend less than you earn is the mother of all resolutions and one that should be renewed each and every year by good folks like yourself who wish to achieve the ultimate nirvana of the common man: financial freedom.

There is a reason why “spend less than you earn” is the first of my ten commandments of personal finance.

As personal finance new year’s resolutions go, it’s the only one that really matters.

If you abandon or fail to make that most-basic of resolutions, you may as well relegate all of your other personal finance commitments to that large and lonely scrap heap of forgotten pledges and promises that’s currently sitting in your backyard…

Or wherever you keep that thing.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

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