Happy happy new year, friends!
I'll offer an example: I would like to be more financially independent in 2015. Now before you all go get your tar and feathers ready, I need to express my gratitude for my situation. No, I do not pay for all of my expenses myself. Yes, that is an incredible blessing and not everyone is this lucky. Sure, I haven't learned things the hard way (as maybe you kicked-out-of-the-house-at-18 folks have) and I realize the disadvantage I may be at at the ripe old age (haha!) of 23 having never had to fend for myself. But I want to note that I never want to mooch off my parents. I am extremely lucky to be in the situation I am in, although it's not exactly paved with gold and lined with expensive cheesecakes (I don't like caviar...) as you are probably imagining. ANYWAY, I digress. The point is, I have this deep desire to be more financially independent. And I don't think that's exactly a "resolution," as this kind of goal or aspiration is a life-changing one that will affect more than just this next year. So in my mind, I broke it down to extremely realistic alterations I can do to my lifestyle.
1. Only use my parents' card/money for gas and groceries (from an actual grocery store)
2. Celebrate/enforce what I'm calling No-Clothes-January (which I realize is more of a short term thing, but I buy sooooo many clothes. I don't know how it happens - I swear.)
3. Put at least 10% of each paycheck into my checking account when I deposit them
4. Any and all meals that I buy from restaurants MUST be paid for by me and only me. (which is implied with number one, but it's something I need to strategically remember) Of course, if you want to take me out for a nice date, I wouldn't mind allowing you to pay for my dinner. But that hasn't happened in years, so I'm not too concerned.
And that's about it. Short and sweet, but totally doable. I have already noticed a cut back in my desire to spend, as well as an increase in my desire to cook my own meals, etc. Which is honestly huge, because when am I NOT craving a Hires Country H cheeseburger, or Chinese take out. Right? Right.