As a new year approaches, it’s time to think about making some lifestyle improvements. For most people, January is the month when they embark on new projects, goals, and resolutions. When done right, these plans will serve to change things for the better. The tricky part is knowing where to begin. Whether your aim is to save more money, earn a master’s degree, save money on a car, or eliminate undue stress and anxiety from your life, there are multiple options available. Consider the following.
Make a Savings Deposit Every Payday
Set up an automated savings plan where you work or create one through your bank or credit union. Direct deposit is the most painless and powerful way to set aside a fixed amount or percentage from your regular pay on a regular basis. The goal is to make saving a habit. After about six months, think about switching the balance to a higher-interest account, but continue with the regular direct deposits as usual. Experiment with depositing a fixed percentage of each paycheck. Many working adults discover that an amount between five and ten percent works best.
Get a Graduate Degree
Getting a master’s degree opens up new career avenues and enhances your lifetime income potential. The most efficient way to cover the cost of graduate studies is to borrow from a private lender. Not only will you have access to excellent rates and terms, but applying for a student loan from a private lender is an easy online process that takes just a few minutes. The beauty of higher education is that once you earn your graduate diploma, you’ll have it for life.
Don’t Buy a New Car
Make this year the one when you break the new car habit. You can save big by driving well maintained, two-year-old vehicles directly from dealerships or individuals. By following this practice, buyers still get all the luxuries and technology but don’t pay the huge dealership markup that comes with brand-new vehicles. Always take a lengthy test drive in any vehicle you consider buying. And have a licensed auto mechanic check it out completely after you take it for a drive on city streets and the highway. Buying a two or three-year-old model is a great way to save money, provided you protect yourself from acquiring low quality automobiles.
Learn Meditation, Yoga, or Contemplative Prayer
Stress can affect the human mind and body in all sorts of ways, and none of them are positive. That’s why millions of people choose to learn the finer points of meditation, take yoga classes, or get serious about faith-based prayer. Depending on your particular inclinations and beliefs, there’s a stress busting strategy made to order. After you determine which yoga style is right for you, check with local yoga studios to find beginner courses.
Most are inexpensive and give you the chance to test out the various programs. If you want to add prayer or contemplation to your daily routine, speak with your favorite member of the clergy or a friend you trust. Finally, check online for meditation tutorials, and remember to start out slowly, perhaps doing just 10 or 20 minutes of seated meditation per day. After that, gradually ramp up to an amount of time that feels right and helps keep stress at bay.