Have you given any thought to making resolutions for the new year? Here are six very good reasons why finances should feature highly in any list.
Before we know it, 2021 will be here. And because 2020 wasn’t exactly how we envisioned it to be, we probably all have quite a few hopes and wishes for the months to come.
The first wish might be for things in general just to somehow get better. The second might be a more personal one – a few things that we would like to do differently.
At the beginning of any new year, many people process these kinds of thoughts and make a list of New Year’s resolutions. While common resolutions like exercising more, eating more healthily and drinking less alcohol are par for the course, there is one thing they rarely include: money.
The question is: why does money rarely make the list? Possibly because it may seem mundane, awkward or even vulgar at first. After all, very few people are willing to admit to themselves that money is important to them. But it should be. And if we are honest, it is important. Because money is interwoven with so many things that affect us all.
There are essentially two main questions here:
Firstly, what do I need to have a good life?
And secondly, how do we ensure a good future for us all?
Money plays a key role in both questions. To find out how and why this is the case, read on:
As a society, we need to talk about money much more than we have been. Urgently! About our own money, treating money as a taboo subject doesn’t actually benefit anyone. Least of all you.
But apart from the personal aspect, we need to talk more about the destructive power that money has in the world. And, even more importantly, about the constructive power it has. Because when you know more about money, you also know more about possible – and new – ways to use it.
It’s probably fair to say that we all want to be in charge of our own lives. And that money opens up opportunities. And a certain freedom. Want a new job? Want a flat or house of your own? Want to stop spending money on fast fashion? Not everyone’s budget is big enough to bankroll these kinds of changes – and not everything is in our control. At the same time, however, many of us are able to save a little money or to find consumption alternatives that provide some relief. And both of these options should be used. Read on to find out how.
Money worries can really eat away at you. No matter how smooth your life is progressing, they cast a shadow on absolutely everything. Especially your mental wellbeing. A rainy-day fund is a good first step when it comes to creating more financial security. Find out how large this needs to be and how to start saving here.
You want to live a more sustainable life but think sustainable and fair-trade products are out of your budget? Not necessarily. For a start, you could drink tap water rather than buying the bottled variety. Or opt for seasonal vegetables. Or buy fewer new clothes or get them second-hand – and jog out in the park rather than on a treadmill at the gym. There are so many sustainable possibilities and alternatives that don’t have to break the bank. And don’t necessarily mean going without either.
Of course, there are other dimensions to consider when it comes to sustainability and money. Such as investing in sustainable companies or buying or consuming their products. In other words, choosing to give your business to companies that offer future technologies, are exploring new solutions for climatic challenges, effect Impact Investments or are 100% climate-neutral. Consumers have a voice. And privately invested money can help shape the future.
If you want to be more aware of what you are doing with your money, you should realise that money has a steering effect. This applies to everyone and on a personal, societal and ecological level as well. In good ways and bad. Consumers have power. So if we have to make daily decisions about our money, why not make a conscious decision in favour of or against something? Which brings us on to our next point.
What is actually being financed and why? And what is it being invested in? Why isn’t more money being spent on education and why is it no longer being used to expand renewable energies? Why are we still financing factory farming even though it is cruel to animals and per capita meat consumption is falling anyway? Why is so much money being directed towards industries that are contributing to the climate crisis? Or the arms industry?
All good and important questions. To get closer to an answer, you should first find out whether you may in fact have been contributing to it yourself (without realising it). For instance by determining what your bank is actually doing with your money and whether you are okay with that. Of course, if you want to manage your money consciously, you need to know exactly what impact it is having. You can find out how we use our customers’ money here.
And in everything we do, we believe that actions are better than intentions. So let’s get started! After all, you’ve managed to get through 2020 in one piece, so you will certainly be able to get your money working (even) more sustainably for you this year.
Here’s another tip for anyone who wants to make a start with this and doesn’t yet have an account with us: if you open one now, you will not only have made an important first step, but will also receive a lovely surprise on top (using the code 2021)!
So, what do you reckon… is money going to be on your list of resolutions this year?