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Starting the New Year Off Right

by World of Finance on January 8, 2012

Living a happy, healthy life is all about balance.  When you have the various aspects of your life in check, you tend to be much happier as a person as you feel more productive and on-track.  Personally, I always make it a point to keep my personal finances, health, and house in check and also make sure to have fun along the way.

PERSONAL FINANCE

I keep on-top of my personal finances by making it easy to manage. Keeping my expenses much lower than my income is one way I achieve this and makes it easy to stay within budget.  Also, I use one credit card to pay my normal monthly expenses such as gas, food, etc.  At the end of the month, I pay this card off in full.  Although, using this system is not a recommended method for everyone.  You are safe to use a credit card if you view it as your own money that you are spending, are fully prepared to pay it off in-full at the end of the billing cycle, and are using it very consciously!

HEALTHY CHOICES

Our health is a very previous gift that we often take for granted.  It is effected by what we eat, how much we exercise, and the amount of time we sleep.  I recently read an article that encourages people to eat fish at least once a week, drink red wine, and increase produce intake.  I made sure to add all of these items to my grocery list.  Exercising can even be quality time spent with a close friend or loved one by taking walks together along the beach or on a nice nature trail.

DE-CLUTTER YOUR LIFE

It’s amazing that now we have to focus on de-cluttering our lives in a tangible and intangible way.  Tangibly speaking, I try to sort through the papers that accumulate at home, making sure I keep what’s important and get rid of everything else. Not only are there papers to sort through, but also, there is all the other “stuff” that accumulates in the house.  Recently, I have been trying to use everything that I currently own as this helps get rid of clutter, is extra friendly on the budget, and is eco-friendly.  These all sound like excellent reasons to de-clutter the house to me!  Now intangibly speaking, recently I had to de-clutter my email inboxes.  I got in the bad habit of looking at my emails, responding to the really important ones and thinking I will get back to the other ones later.  Well, life can get so busy that later typically never comes.  There were some articles that I thought were interesting and that I would read them later… nope, didn’t happen.  One of my email inboxes, without warning, became full.  I started experiencing errors and finally figured out that I was over the allotted capacity.  This forced me to start deleting old email to free up some space.  Since then, I have implemented a new email management system by deleting what I don’t need, hence only keeping the important emails for future reference.  With the new system, I feel more focused and less overwhelmed as there is a lot less “stuff” in my email inbox.

HAVE FUN

Once your finances are on track, you feel healthy, and you have de-cluttered your life, it makes having fun a lot easier; this way you can just let go and enjoy the fun activity you are partaking in. People tend to think that money is required to have fun.  In reality, there are many ways to have fun with little to no money.  It boils down to the saying, “the best things in life are free.”  Spending time with family and friends is a great way to have a good time and not spend money.

Are you starting your new year off right?  Have you focused on your personal finances, making healthy choices, and/or decluttering your life?  Are you achieving your goals and still finding time to have fun?

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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21 Responses to “Starting the New Year Off Right”

  • Moneycone says:

    I started by donating boxes and boxes of clothes! Now I have a minimal set of clothes and for some reason that feeling is very liberating!

    • @ MC – Great job MC! I did the same thing the end of last year and it felt great. Not to mention, I can find things in my closet now ;) and actually utilize the things that I own.

  • Decluttering is a big issue for us – we keep meaning to do it but somehow we never make it to the car boot sale….. However 2012 is a good year. We will declutter we will declutter we will declutter……!!!

  • I am realizing that I need to declutter. I think I will do that in the spring time. I am too busy at this time in the year.

    • @ Corey – after each school term is definitely ideal to declutter, sort through all of your things and decide what you really need and what you don’t :) Good luck with your classes and decluttering.

  • I do feel better when things are clean and organized. Planning our meals by the week relieves a lot of stress for me and gives me more time with the kids after school. I really dislike the 5:00 “oh no, what’s for dinner?” moments.

  • Yep, a big clean up and chuck out is a great way to feel refreshed at the start of the year. My wife and I did it with clothes and want to continue through the rest of the house. 2012 is the year of “less is more!”

  • Niki says:

    I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff since the beginning of the year. It is a great way to start off the year.

  • Squirrelers says:

    I like how you noted sleep as being important for health. I think many people focus on exercise and diet to the point where sleep isn’t considered. Personally, when I don’t sleep, my ability to make good choice with food and the energy for exercise begins to diminish. Plus, sleep has benefits of its own.

    Anyway, I know that sleep wasn’t the point of the post, but wanted to highlight your words on it :)

    • @ Squirrelers – Thanks Squirrelers. You’re right, sleep is often overlooked as being important for one’s health. I also feel better when I get the right amount of rest.

  • Doctor Stock says:

    I finally crashed in the past two weeks… being overwhelmed by so many things. So, this article is great timing… I’m so ripe for some change. Perhaps sleep is where I’ll start!

  • Juan says:

    Starting off by de-clutering one’s life sounds like a great idea. With school starting I have defiantly felt the need to do this.

  • I completely agree that Health and Personal Finance need to be in check to be happy. But I also like that “De-Cluttering” made it on this list as well. I cannot believe how great it makes me feel to clean up my workspace, get rid of a bunch of junk, and just start off with a clean slate. That one goes unnoticed a lot but can be very powerful in making a difference in our lives.

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