I like the New Year. OK, New Year's resolutions are a bit pointless. For example, everyone loves to resolve to lose (insert ridiculous unattainable two digit figure here) pounds. This resolution is usually so successful that it must recur year in year out, with the number of pounds to be lost increasing exponentially. So, thoughts on resolutions for becoming better versions of ourselves? Noble, unoriginal and usually forgotten by 1st February. However, the New Year itself is great. For me I find I'm filled with a renewed sense of purpose. It rejuvenates me because there's a fleeting spectre of possibility hanging in the air. It's the start of a whole new year - and it's just brimming with potential.
Now I know what Dylan Moran has to say about potential. (If you don't I strongly advise you to go here because you need to know too.) But I can't help it. At this time of year I have to explore some potential even if it's just to dip my toes in and tromp it around in the mud for a bit. I know that the wind will be gone from my proverbial sails by February but that's OK because it's a whole new year and maybe this will be the one in which I succeed in my resolve to win the lottery.
I recognise that this is another recurring long shot on the resolution front: ye olde get rich quick. OK, it's late and I'm tired and I need you to indulge me as I share the madness. It could be worse - I could be boring you with details of the baby weight I have to shift to get back into my work wardrobe or how many hours I need to put in at the gym to get climbing fit again - stay with me just for giggles.
Now, I see the potential for this grand resolution to fail spectacularly in line with the epic tradition of New Year's resolutions generally. That's why I have a back up plan. I'm also resolving this year to get rich s-l-o-w-l-y. Some may say that the best way to achieve this plan would be to stop buying lottery tickets and to divert the funds instead to my ever barren ISA, but I don't drink and I don't smoke and a ticket is a small price to pay to be able to have that half hour a week where MC and I enjoy the 'what would we do if we won the lottery' conversation. Love those chats...
I have sought out a number of articles and blogs that deal with the business of getting rich slowly. The premise is simple. Spend less of your current income in order to be better off. So far I have found two amusing and canny tips that I intend to try. I even have MC roped in for a short term crack at it (though he seems to be endlessly better at money business than I).
First tip is: when you make a saving pay the money you have saved to your saving account. That way you don't divert the money off elsewhere. For example, if you cancel a magazine subscription/gym membership/other-expensive-outgoing-designed-to-help-you-become-a-more-fabulous-version-of-yourself, which costs £x a month, then pay that money into your savings account as soon as you are paid.
Secondly, write down the little expenditures. We all know what our mortgage/rent and utilities comes to, but how much do we actually spend breaking tenners for bus fares, buying newspapers and frothy milky coffee? The chap who recommended this seemingly OCD tip came up with it while his wife was trying to lose weight with Scottish Slimmers. She would dutifully write everything down that she ate because in doing so she would think twice about non-essential sugary nutrient-devoid carbfesty impulse munchies and successfully attain her goals. Everyone who has ever lost any weight knows it is the little things that mount up and add inches to your ass! Well, apparently the same theory works in reverse when trying to stop unintentionally slimming down your purse.
If you're busy this new year avoiding your potential, or if you're just too busy being fabulous already to possibly be able to resolve to make yourself more fabulous, then feel free to join in the experiment with me.
It's potentially bonkers but at least it's not likely to cost you anything.