“I really need to lose 10 pounds.”
“I should spend more time with my family.”
“Power Rangers is on Netflix. I must binge-watch.”
2015 is just around the corner, which means many of us will be finalizing our new year’s resolutions such as the ones above before that giant, shiny, glittery ball drops at midnight.
While new year’s resolutions regarding health and family are among the most popular, money is also at the top of the list. As I look back and reflect on 2014, here are a few things I learned that may be of some assistance as you enter the new year.
1. Face your debt head-on! In 2013, around 70 percent of students graduated college with nearly $30,000 in debt. I, too, was left with debt to pay off after graduation, and I still get the slightest taste of bile in my mouth whenever I hear the words ‘Sallie’ and ‘Mae.’ But rather than look at that one monstrous number, I found it extremely helpful to look at debt as small, monthly payments. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race, which I found to be the best (and most realistic) way to approach paying off debt.
2. Invest in yourself. 2014 brought me a lot of new and exciting video projects to work on, one of them being a flight to Mexico so that I could film a wedding. I had been reluctant to spend money on a new camera, but landing this gig convinced me to finally take the plunge. The results have been nothing but positive. Not only were my clients ecstatic about the video, but my portfolio’s boost in quality and production has led to several new clients and video shoots. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money if it has the chance to be beneficial towards you and your goals in the long run.
3. Save. I finally got serious about my 401k contribution, and in addition, vowed to put a percentage of my monthly income into a savings account. A lot of times we try to wait until we get a promotion or new job to start saving, but it doesn't have to be that complicated - look at your bank statements from the past few months, and see how much money you average at the end of the month, before you get paid. Put that amount in savings.
Take a moment to reflect on the past year. What did 2014 teach you? What do you hope 2015 will bring?
DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.