It is about this time of year that I start to look back over what a great year 2016 has been, and also reflect on how I have done against the New Year resolutions that I made about this time last year.
1. Continue not to smoke. Done.
2. Skype my parents more often. Well.. sorry Mum and Dad.
3. Buy flowers more often for my wife. Erm.. sorry Mrs McLardie, must try harder.
4. Score some runs on the cricket pitch. Done. 22 off 21 balls. More runs in one game than the last six seasons combined.
5. Fit back into those suit trousers that have been sitting there for way too long. Again, look at point 1. Do you really think giving up smoking and losing weight will ever work?
Have you noticed something about this list that may differ from yours?
There is nothing financial in there. Of course, working within the industry, I try to practise what I preach about organisation and timing.
What should you be doing next year financially? If your goal is to be more financially secure, it is a big ask in one year, but it is possible to break it down and take one step at a time.
Don’t do too much at once. You have twelve months, but you need to start with a time plan. To do this, find out when your insurance policies are due to be renewed.
That is your health, dental, life, car, home building and contents, and landlord insurance. Then, map out when you will need to make significant purchases throughout the year. Investments, savings, school fees, flights and holidays, new car or motorbike and the ilk.
For example, if you are really not getting on with your bank and you want to move your accounts, but at the beginning of February your life insurance and the next instalment of the kids school fees have to be paid – just have a think about it.
Do you really want to take the risk of coming back in the New Year to open new bank accounts, transfer everything across, and get new cards for the said account before Tet? It is especially early in 2017.
Will everything be in place in time so that you can inform your insurers and the school that new payment methods will be in place? You just know that it will go wrong and cost you more time and effort that you didn’t need to spend.
Hey, you have been having problems with the same bank for the last two years, so another month will not matter too much. Right?
I know it may sound a little backwards, but plan for things by taking into account the little things first, and then fitting in the big changes. It is the little things that will always turn into a right pain.
For next years resolutions: eat less and move more sounds like a good soundbite, but I just know that by the middle of January, I will be back on the sofa with a tube of Pringles stuck to my wrist.
Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org .