Some say the ancient Babylonians were the first to make a big deal out of New Year’s resolutions — perhaps vowing to invade less or do some work on those hanging gardens.
We all know that, in fact, this habit of making promises we’ll never keep at the dawn of a new year derives from timeless human feelings of hope and guilt — not necessarily in that order.
No surprise that resolutions are often made by hungover people who’ve been eating, drinking and spending like some mad monarch for most of the preceding month/year. Sit-ups, salads and savings are common pledges, along with things like “stop arguing on social media” and “be nicer to the gregarious guy next door who never gets the hint and just keeps talking.”
This being PYMNTS, we like sticking to key themes around money. We’ve painstakingly researched the most widespread financial oaths for 2022, and now we’ll put our own admittedly laughable spin on each. Don’t fret. These are just New Year’s resolutions.
Obviously, as such, we have no intention of keeping them.
In its 2022 Financial Resolutions Study, Fidelity Investments found saving more money to be the top resolution for 2022. This is when you take some money from each check, put it in the bank or 401(k) or wherever, then forget it exists for 20 or 30 years.
The Oracle of Omaha, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, advised as follows: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” He may have been posing as a fortune cookie writer at the time, doing undercover investment research. You never know.
Anyway, all we got from that quote was the “spend” bit. Surely, he didn’t intend that, but since we’re up, can we get you anything? A $20 coffee drink? Maybe a certified, preowned BMW?
Pay Yourself First
According to US News, “Paying yourself first generally means ‘paying’ your future self money … because if you pay yourself last, chances are you won’t pay yourself at all.” It’s always been a mildly clever way to say, “stash a few dollars before your paycheck is completely gone.”
If only we could outmaneuver ourselves so easily. But this idea of paying your future self money sounds like a winner. Our future self makes nine figures and owns two homes and a yacht.
Whom do we see about getting the money to pay our future self immediately? Couldn’t the alternative credit sector come up with something for this? Maybe in the metaverse.
This one is difficult because of all the STUFF.
According to a world-famous economist that we just made up, “people spend too much because buying stuff is awesome.” We never said this made-up economist was eloquent.
It’s a pretend point worth considering. Spending less is a nice idea — in theory — as is being more liquid. But you end up with less stuff, and that’s where we draw the line. Have you been shopping online or in-store recently? Did you see all that … stuff? The defense rests.
If that weren’t sufficient reason to ignore “spend less,” we have this friend who’s made a personal commitment to “buy more clothes with feathers and sequins” in 2022. This person has the right idea. She’s not anti-frugality; she’s just pro-sequins. What could be wrong with that?
Seriously though, Happy New Year, always be smart with your money (unless you’re buying something for us), and from everyone at PYMNTS, we wish you a wonderful 2022.