Get the SHEET done for 2020 — Make your financial resolutions work this time
Tick tock tick. Less than 10 days and it will be the new year—2020. Time to make new year’s resolutions? No, put your pens down. Take a look at the list you wrote a year ago and you’ll see. What you are going to write this year is pretty much the same, isn’t it?
How does it become this year’s resolution, again?
New year’s resolutions like ‘exercise’, ‘diet’, ‘save money’, ‘eat healthy’ repeat themselves every year. Most of us share the same wishes, but unfortunately, we also share the human nature of laziness. We tend to stick to the lifestyle that we are already used to.
According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people achieve their new year’s goals. While over 90 percent fail to keep their new year’s resolutions, most of the resolutions last less than 6 weeks.
A new habit takes only 21 days (3 weeks) to form. But what keeps us in the toxic cycle of falling short?
Let’s admit it’s a life-long journey to get rid of our laziness. In this article, gini is going to serve you a present—how to do your end-of-year review and how to keep your new year financial resolutions by making good use of a fully-automated tool Smart Sheet.
How do my finances look in 2019?
Successful stories are all alike; every unsuccessful story fails in its own way. It’s important to evaluate what was done right and wrong in the past year, take the learnings, so that we can do better in the coming year.
Wait a minute. Evaluating the whole year of finances means reviewing all 12 months of bank statements at once. While each of us have 5.3 credit cards on average, reviewing a year of finances means a lot of work reading over 60 bank statements. It’s understandable why many people just don’t do it.
Full automation to aggregate all bank statements
While most of the banks only make 2 to 6 months of bank statements available online, and 1 year of bank statements requestable for free; gini allows you to have free access to your transaction record from your registration date to the latest transaction to-date, anytime for free. The sooner you start gini, the sooner you begin keeping your transaction record.
With the latest feature Smart Sheet, you can even export all your transaction data to a Google sheet. Simply go to Power-ups under Settings to find Smart Sheet. All you need to do is to sign in with your Google account and you will receive a link to your Smart Sheet. What’s more, you can download your Smart Sheet to any of your devices.
gini-us fact: gini has been running for 3 years. The earliest batch of users are able to trace back 3 years of transaction data freely, with no additional actions required. They can easily compare their 3 years of finances in a row. And more years to go!
A magic tab to see your 2019 finance through
Talking about the most useful tab on Smart Sheet for your end-of-year overview, it has to be Expenses (year).
On the tab Expenses (year), you can see 3 graphs of 3 different purposes of course.
The first bar chart at the top ‘What you spend your money on’ gives you an overview of your total expenses each month throughout the year. Select 2019 and you can see which month you have spent the most last year. You can also select more than one year here.
By spotting which month of the year that you usually spend most on, you can pay more attention on that particular month when next year arrives.
The second bar chart on the left side at the bottom ‘Your expenses per account’ lists your total expenses according to each account you hold. You can compare this information with gini’s financial tips on banks’ offers and allocate your money accordingly to maximize its growth.
The pie chart on the right side at the bottom ‘Where you spend your money’ provides you with a clear picture on the proportion of each category you spent on.
By analyzing your spending behaviour, you can adjust your lifestyle and keep your resolutions. You can also decide what financial resolutions to make based on it. For example, if ‘Shopping & Leisure’ takes 70% of your expenses in 2019 and you find that all of them goes to your favorite brand, you know which store to visit less.
How will my finances look like in 2020?
Although it’s a sad fact that we repeat our new year’s resolutions every year, this tendency to behave in an observable pattern helps us to understand ourselves better.
Unless there is a major event that fluctuates your expenses, like planning a wedding or having a child, your spending pattern is probably similar throughout the years. The easiest way to predict your next year’s finances is to reference how this past year looked.
While the tab Expenses (year) is useful for your end-of-year overview, Expenses (month) zooms into details for you to plan each month of your coming year.
What’s different on this tab is that you can see which specific merchant you are spending on. With this analysis, you can further take control of which store to go less or which brand to spend less on.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that most of the people cannot keep their resolutions more than 6 weeks. If you plan it month by month breaking your financial resolutions into smaller goals, you can see the results in a shorter time and build your confidence bit by bit. Read more about how setting an achievable goal can make your saving plan work.
But sometimes, it’s not about spending less. When you find that other than basic needs, you have already slimmed down all unnecessary expenses. You simply need to find more sources of income. Go to ‘Overview’ and you can easily compare your total expenses and incomes.
To have a simpler view of your cash flow, you can go to another tab ‘Comparison (month)’. There you can see the trend of your total expenses. You can then predict whether your expenses will go up or down instead of going for a blind-folded roller coaster ride.
Who can support you as you work toward change?
Making a real change takes a lot of courage and motivation. Is there anyone on your mind who can help you manage your finances?
Photo credit: @simonmaage
Another function that makes Smart Sheet double the fun is the ability to collaborate.
If you share your special link with a trusted friend or partner, they can help you keep an eye on your finances and support you.
Coming to the end of year, if you’d like to have an overview of your family’s finances, simply ask your family members to add their Smart Sheets and get your money in shape together.
What our ginius says: Smart Sheet is a Christmas miracle. I was just about to do some end of year personal accounting and was going to try and aggregate my e-statements and then by pure chance I saw a facebook ad for Smart Sheet. I hadn’t logged in to the gini app in a while but this is exactly what I needed.
It’s time to make your financial resolutions work this time. Download or update the gini app and get your Smart Sheet done for 2020, shall we?
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