“2016 is going to be MY year! Bring it!”
Another year, another set of resolutions … to break. The reality is that only 8% of people actually succeed in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. So we say “Eff it!” Open that half-gallon of ice cream, light up a cigarette, and read the New Year’s resolutions that nobody (hopefully) makes:
1. I resolve to work out at Soulcycle EVERY SINGLE DAY. I want to look like I belong in the next Avengers movie.
Reality Check: So, yes, they have Soul, and they have Cycles, and probably a bunch of folks in the hottest (and priciest) branded workout gear, but spending $850 a month for the privilege of cycling by candlelight won’t help you lose weight any faster. It’s like wiping the sweat from your brow with $20 bills.
Your Financial Fitness: Forget swanky gym classes with cult followings and far too much dubstep. If you’re determined to tap into your inner superhero, look to your local YMCA, where you’ll pay significantly less than most fitness chain fees and have access to the same group classes. Or try web-based DailyBurn to get sweaty from the comfort of your own home for just $12.95 a month.
2. I resolve to order Seamless every day, for every meal.
Reality Check: If you know your delivery guys better than your roommates, you may have a Seamless addiction. Unfortunately that addiction comes with an average monthly bill of $450. That’s like buying several pairs of overpriced sheer yoga pants.
Your Financial Takeout: Don’t have time for grocery shopping? Use a delivery service like Instacart or FreshDirect to order your ingredients. Don’t have time to cook? We call BS. Spend a few hours of your Monday evening (don’t lie, you weren’t doing anything important anyway) and cook some healthy meals that you can reheat during the week. It’s like putting your wallet on a diet.
3. I resolve to use Uber like my personal chauffeur. And I’ll get my extra 20 minutes of beauty sleep too.
Reality Check: Oh, you’re in a rush again? What would your mother say? She’d say, “Set your alarm and leave your goddamn apartment on time. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?” … But we digress.
Your Financial Rush Hour: Taking an Uber every day is a luxury that can burn through your cash reserves (hello surge pricing…). If you really don’t have the time to take public transportation, consider UberPool, Lyft Line, Via or other ride-sharing services as a money-saving compromise.
4. I resolve to smoke a full pack of cigarettes a day. And look as cool as Clint Eastwood doing so.
Reality Check: Not only will you look cool as f*ck, but you’re being a responsible American by paying extra taxes on your cancer sticks. Not.
Your Financial Lighter: If the health benefits haven’t convinced you to quit yet, let’s talk about the benefits to your wallet. If the average pack of cigarettes costs $10, and you’re trying to quit a pack-a-day habit, think of all the healthy, splendid things that extra $70 a week could buy: 70 items off the Dollar Menu, twelve 12-packs of PBR, or one distressed SoulCycle t-shirt.
5. I resolve to spend every single penny I earn this year. YOLO.
Reality Check: YOLO, FOMO, there’s always some acronym for why you need to spend money right now. As the saying goes, you can’t take your money with you when you die, but a snapshot of your personal submarine on social media lives forever. That’s how it goes, right?
Your Financial Saving Grace: Saying that you’ll simply “save money” isn’t as effective as creating an action plan with monthly savings goals and exactly how you’ll cut costs to reach those goals. If you find you just can’t help but spend spend spend, try using an app like Acorns or Digit. They help you save automagically by moving small amounts of money into an investment account or savings account without you even noticing. Abracadabra, your money is saved before you even think about buying that 50-foot slip and slide.