It’s about to be 2017, which means that everyone is about to make their New Year’s Resolutions.
That means, the timing could not be more perfect to focus on resolving to focus on your education and, of course, a way to pay for it!
Here are some suggestions of resolutions you can take on this year to improve your financial situation:
Avoid Credit Card Debt –
Credit cards can seem like a simple solution for the present, however, piling on debt to deal with later is not a solution.
As enticing as any credit card rates may seem, interest accumulates rapidly and paying off the minimum payment is not a solution.
If you do have a credit card, only spend what you actually have. That way, you will improve your credit score and never carry a balance.
Save More –
It sounds simpler than it is. Saving is difficult, but if you decide to save a certain portion of your paycheck, it can be easier if you arrange for automatic deposit of that portion into a savings account.
Eventually, you will get used to your adjusted paycheck and will not even think about the amount that’s gone into your savings.
Apply for Scholarships –
Scholarships are basically like free money for school and the more you apply for, the better your chances are of winning. Stay diligent – it’s not easy to win a scholarship and you likely won’t win one on your first try.
This year, resolve to apply for a certain number of scholarships weekly. Maximizing your chances can take you from a scholarship applicant to a scholarship winner this year.
Just Say No –
If you can’t afford to go out, stay home. It’s that easy! You must be realistic – if you can’t afford to dine out, go out or whatever it is – why not entertain on a budget?
Go in on a cooking dinner with friends (groceries are much less expensive than eating out), playing games at home or find other budget-friendly ways to have fun. Remember, you can say no to going out and spending money without sacrificing fun!
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Sorry for this, but as we approach the new year, this weighs heavy on my mind, and in some strange, unexplainable way, writing it out helps to ease my troubled mind.
In the forty-five years I’ve roamed this rock we call Earth, I’ve never made a New Years resolution, at least not one that amounted to much. I guess I know myself well enough to realize that I’ll never see lofty goals through to fruition. I like to think of myself as the one who always lives up to my own low expectations, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Don’t set the bar too high, and you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you can clear it.
All joking aside, 2016 has been about the worst year of my life. In May, my wife of 22 years was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer which has also spread to her liver. Just this past week, after 12 grueling rounds of chemotherapy, our oncologist informed us the tumors on her liver are inoperable and the effectiveness of standard chemo has plateaued. We still have a couple of options available that give us hope for a favorable outcome and have given our full trust to the doctors, and our undying faith to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
That being said, 2017 will be a year we will all have to remain incredibly strong. It will also be a year for life altering, monumental decisions, some of which have already been set into motion. First of all, my family has made the incredibly difficult decision to close our retail business indefinitely. Instead we’ll shift our focus to wholesale, a segment that has shown steady growth over the past several years. We hope the extra time can help us concentrate on her treatment and be there for her on the front lines as she battles an invisible enemy from within. Hopefully, as we traverse the upcoming year, we can spend some time reconnecting as a family, something so many of us neglect in the chaos of everyday life.
As far as writing goes, well, who knows? I hope I can still keep hammering some things out and plan to keep refining my novel as time permits. Throughout this entire ordeal, I’ve found writing a fantastic form of therapy, a wonderful aid in helping me sort out my feelings and fears.
Regarding resolutions? One word sums it up: Hope. I hope we reach the end of 2017 complete, together, and unbroken. Somewhere along the way I hope we find something positive to cleave to under the storm clouds looming above, and most importantly, wherever this journey leads us, I hope we all reach our destination as better versions of ourselves.