ramp capital’s new year finance resolutions
The new year is upon us, and like everyone else out there, you’ve probably set some resolutions to better yourself. Hopefully you’re already heading down a path to achieve these goals. The key is to make the resolutions sustainable and achievable so they stick.
In past years, I set some resolutions for myself like saving up an emergency fund, paying off my student loans, and getting my estate plan in order. But in light of the pandemic, and the new variants that seem to pop up every month, I’ve had to adjust some of my goal-setting to fit our current climate.
I’m going to break down a few of my finance-related resolutions that you can copy and use in your own life. From limiting how much I check my trading accounts, to setting attainable goals for beefing up my writing chops, these are some resolutions that I plan to embrace in 2022 — and which I feel will resonate with many of my readers, too.
Wallowing in the Past Won’t Add to Your Future
It sounds simple, but it’s more complicated than most people think. We spend way too much mental energy on things we can’t control. I’m guilty of it, as well — always wondering about the what-ifs. It doesn’t help that the news constantly bombards us with things we may have missed out on — i.e. NFTs, web3, buying the Amazon IPO, the list goes on.
While you could have made a few small bets that would have paid off big, the time has come and gone for many of the previously mentioned examples. Stop wallowing in the past. Instead, use these experiences to develop a plan of action to make some small bets in the future on something new that excites you. Ultimately, place a few small bets on yourself.
Slow Down the Pace of Checking Trading Accounts
There are studies that suggest the more you look at your investment accounts, the more likely you are to overtrade and underperform. This isn’t to say that you should just walk away from your portfolio and not make changes as necessary. Rather, consider slowing it down a bit.
I have multiple accounts: a 401k, a Roth IRA, an individual account, a crypto account, and more. Ironically, the one I check the least (my 401k), has done the best over the years. It’s set up with some target date funds that adjust slightly every year as I get closer to retirement. The only thing I have to do is set my pre-tax contribution from my paycheck.
My suggestion would be to monitor how often you’re checking your investments and pare it back a little. If you check every hour, try limiting it to once a day. If you check every day, try limiting it to once a week, and so on. It’s hard to see it now, but you’ll thank yourself later.
Read More — A Lot More
My reading habits have taken a hit in the past two years — and I’m not alone. I noticed that I spent much less time reading long form content but the same, if not more, time reading short form content. This stems from the pandemic disrupting our schedules and lives in so many different ways. I want to reverse this trend in 2022.
One thing I have done is set daily calendar alerts to carve out 20-30 minutes each night before bed to read the massive pile of unread books that have accumulated on my nightstand. Another thing that has helped me stick to this routine is to have a dedicated reading space. While you can read pretty much anywhere, I’ve found that it helps to have that one cozy chair with a lamp. Don’t get too cozy, though… you might fall asleep, especially if you read as much finance material as I do.
Continue Honing My Writing Skills
To become a better writer, you must become a better reader. Ideas are rarely formed in a vacuum. Consuming more high-brow long-form material will allow your brain to riff off existing ideas. Writing is also a learned skill that takes years to master. And, like weight lifting, it’s a skill you need to hone and build through repeated practice.
But instead of trying to write your first novel in a week, just start with something simple like a blog. There are many free blogging websites out there (Beehiiv, Substack, Medium, etc.) that can help push your writing to the forefront. Focus on a specific topic that interests you and just start typing. Or maybe you like putting pen to paper, that’s fine too. Your goal should be to write 10-15 minutes a day at a minimum, then gradually increase as you go. This will start building your muscle memory and you’ll start becoming a better writer in no time. I’ve used this technique throughout the years on my own finance blog. At some point, your daily habits will turn into routines and it’ll feel like riding a bike.
Health Is Wealth
The past two years of the pandemic have obviously taken a toll on everyone’s mental and physical health. While there are some things out of our control, such as when the next variant will pop up, one thing is for certain: the healthier you are, the better your odds are at avoiding severe sickness.
In a past article, I detailed my at-home exercise routine. I plan to continue embracing these exercise practices in 2022 and beyond. I suggest that everyone finds some health-oriented practices that work for them and their needs, too. This can even help reduce trips to the doctor, which will in turn beef up your savings (and possibly your biceps).
Happy 2022, dear reader, may your next trip around the sun be healthy, happy, and full of success.
- Ramp Capital