A financial resolution is a New Year’s resolution for your wallet.
I know it might sound a little silly, but the end of the year is coming, and it’s about time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish in the next year. Since the new year is a time of fresh starts, setting a financial resolution can help you find your brand of success.
A financial resolution can be anything from setting yourself on a strict budget to paying off a certain amount of loans throughout the year, and they might be more popular than you would think. A survey done earlier this year found that about 40 percent of Americans set a financial resolution.40 percent of Americans set a financial resolution, do you? #newyearsresolution #moneymattersClick To Tweet
Setting a financial resolution is different from just setting another financial goal because it is a firm decision with a time limit built in. Don’t let that time limit scare you, though. You can break your resolution down into smaller goals. For example, if your resolution is to save for an anniversary trip at the end of 2018, then the resolution should be broken down into several attainable ‘goals’ or milestones.
Financial resolutions can also help you reach five or ten year goals by setting in place new spending habits. If your five year goal is to be completely debt free, a financial resolution of sticking to a tight budget for the year will be a lasting change towards that goal.
The problem with any kind of New Year’s resolution, or any resolution for that matter, is sticking to it. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Let’s talk about some ways to stay accountable to your financial resolutions.
How to Stick to Your Financial Resolutions
1. Break the resolution into actionable steps
The idea behind making a financial resolution is to make a big change. For this reason, financial resolutions should be kind of broad, and that can make them feel almost unattainable. However, this is not something that should make you nervous or keep you from reaching your financial goals.
Here’s some good news: You don’t have to accomplish the whole goal at once. The best way to accomplish big projects is to break them down into at least three actionable steps.
For example, if one of the resolutions is to pay off one student loan in full, an actionable step could be to look at refinancing the student loan. The other two steps could be getting a once-a-week part time job and applying that full paycheck towards your student loan.
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2. Have an accountability buddy
They tell you to get an accountability buddy when you want to lose weight or start going to the gym. The reason for that is because when you’re making a big change, you have to talk about it. If you’re shifting around your finances and trying to have a healthier financial diet, then you want to talk about the things that you’ve learned about finances like budget making, and how to cut coupons.
Though you may think you’re alone in your financial worries, a lot of people would love a buddy to discuss these things. You may be lucky enough to have a significant other who can be your financial buddy, or you may have a friend that is also interested in improving their finances. Having an accountability buddy is great for staying motivated once the hard part really begins.
3. Make it automated
Some people enjoy the feeling of paying bills and other people avoid it like the plague. Bill paying gives them anxiety, and they put it off until the very last minute. If you’re in the latter category, automatic bill pay is your friend. Sometimes you even get discounts on services for signing up for automatic drafting.
Making bills and payments automatic may seem scary or like you have no control over when the money will be drafted, but it can also help you budget better. Let’s talk about the goal of paying off one student loan again. You can have your student loan company automatically draft money from your account the day after you get paid. This way you know the loan gets paid and then you know exactly how much money you have left over, too.
Putting it All Together
Even though it can be scary to approach your money a different way, setting financial resolutions can be a great way to start making small changes to overall financial health. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are a ton of easy personal financial resolutions you can make.
Some of the best financial resolutions to start are: opening a savings account, paying off debt, and investing.
Patty Moore is the voice behind Working Mother Life – a blog focused on figuring out how to manage a full-time career and parenting. When she’s not working, you can find her with her daughter or trying to catch up on some (much needed) shut-eye.
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