As 2015 fades into the distance, now’s a good time to take a look back and see how the year stacked up. So pour yourself a favorite beverage, sit back, sip slowly, and reflect a bit.
Broadly speaking, did you find yourself in a happier state of mind compared to 2014? And if you did, what brought that about, and how can you keep the momentum going into 2016?
Looking at it from another standpoint, did you set goals at the beginning of 2015, and were you successful at achieving them? If you missed the mark with some of them, what can you do to reach them in the coming year?
Now let’s really drill down and look at your financial landscape over the past year. Was it smooth and steady, or did you encounter bumps in the road? Did you see your earnings increase? Were you able to set aside money on a regular basis for a retirement nest egg? Or maybe you got a head start on saving for your child’s college tuition?
Perhaps you focused on a big ticket purchase, like a home or car. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may still be in saving mode, making 2016 even more important as far as making that purchase a reality.
Maybe at this point you’re thinking to yourself, “Would it be worth my while to come up with a financial blueprint to follow for the New Year?” Hmmmm, not a bad idea, not a bad idea at all! Take another sip or two of that beverage, grab a pen and paper (or your electronic tablet) and start jotting down some notes.
Even if you approach it from a “big picture” perspective, you can at least create an outline of where you want to be financially by this time next year. Who knows? Once you get those creative juices flowing, you may end up with a more detailed plan than you anticipated.
If you’re fortunate, you learned some lessons both financially and otherwise over the past 12 months that you can apply next year. No matter how 2015 shaped up for you, may 2016 be better than ever!