Despite the best efforts of staying on track with goals, keeping up with New Year’s Resolutions can prove to be something of a challenge. Whatever it may be, maintaining the focus and motivation year-round can see some end up ditching their commitments.
This difficulty of staying on track is something which TV money expert Emmanuel Asuquo has highlighted recently.
During an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, he suggested a number of top tips for saving in the long-term, with these including using apps and setting goals.
Another suggestion is to consider the reason behind the decision to save, the financial adviser said.
“I always talk about knowing your ‘Why?’,” he said.
“Before we do anything really, I think it’s really good for us to know our ‘Why?’ Why do we want to do this? Why do you want to save?”
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“I feel like a lot of people save in January because everybody is doing it and it’s a new start, a fresh start, ‘I’m going to do better this year’ – but they don’t remember why.”
According to Mr Emmanuel, this could mean that when the process of saving gets tough, it’s easier to give up.
He said: “When the temptation comes to spend, because they don’t know why they were saving in the first place, they end up spending the money and stop saving.
“So for me, the first port of call is to understand your ‘Why?’.
“And that maybe you want to buy your first house, you might want to save for your children. You might have other goals that you want to have, so understand why you’re doing that first.”
Next, Mr Asuquo suggested savers implement a plan.
“I always talk about working backwards,” he explained, “so when it comes to saving, rather than just saying, ‘Oh I can afford to save £100 a month,’ I would always say, ‘What am I saving towards?’ How much does that need? And then work backwards.
“So you know that every month that you’re saving, you know it’s going to take you 20 months to get to your goal, or 12 months to get to your goal.
“And if you save it every month, you’re going to get a month’s step closer to your goal.
“So if I decide not to save this month, now I’m a month further away from my goal. Because I haven’t done what I needed to do this month to get to my goal.”
Next up, the money expert advised seeking support from someone who can hold the saver accountable.
He continued: “I think a lot of the time you don’t have accountability partners.
“So if I want to save for a goal and I’m really serious about it, I need to have an accountability partner that will hold me accountable because the motivation that I have today in January, by March, that’s gone. That’s out the window. That’s gone.”
Finding oneself in different circumstances may prompt them to want to seek some “joy”, Mr Asuquo said, adding that spending can be caused by emotion “a lot of the time”.
“As humans, we tend to be emotional spenders,” he said. “So when I’m happy I want to celebrate my joy by buying something. When I’m sad, I want to make myself feel better by buying something. And a lot of the time, we spend by emotion.
“So it’s really important that we have an accountability partner that when we get emotional, we can phone and say, ‘I’m thinking of spending this.’ They can say, ‘Oh, do you remember in January, you said you wanted this. Remember all these reasons, this is why you can’t.’
“Have an accountability partner. Too many times we try and do it on our own, and that’s another reason why you don’t end up saving over the longer term.”
Mr Asuquo also suggested making the prospect of spending more difficult by putting barriers in the way.