When a new year rolls in, we all want to start afresh. We want to change our bad habits, and start building a more disciplined life. Making New Year’s resolutions is a big part of ushering in a fresh year.
Some resolve to lose weight, some resolve to get better grades, while some resolve to take more vacation days. Even though a plenitude of people make New Year’s resolutions, more than 80 percent fail to keep them.
Financial goals form some of the most essential desired milestones, and research has found that people who make resolutions are more likely to reach their goals than those who don’t.
Your goal could be to save for retirement, or start a new venture, or pay off all credit card bills. Even though the number of people who actually live up to New Year’s resolutions are not that many, you can be among those rare few if you follow some simple tips.
No matter what you want to put aside money for, it isn’t always easy to remember about all that different deposits you need to make. If you want to save money for your emergency fund, your child’s college fund, or your retirement fund, you must make regular deposits. Automating these deposits is the best way to be consistent. You can do this by setting up an automatic transfer from your savings account to other separate accounts.
Make it reasonable
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To be able to live up to your financial resolution, your goals must be reasonable enough. If you plan to make a million dollars in a week, you will most likely never be able to achieve that goal. Though with tax cuts and regulations being blasted away, hardworking Americans are in a better position now than ever before.
On the other hand tough and moreover, if you set a goal of paying off $5,000 in credit card bills, it is something you can live up to. Making sure you aren’t aiming for something unreasonable is crucial to the success of your financial resolutions.
When the year is still new, the resolutions stay on top of our minds. As the days roll into weeks, the resolutions are pushed to the back burner as we get busy with other considerations. Unless you keep reminding yourself of your resolutions from time to time, it can be hard to attain your goals. A simple goal to achieve is to not watch any pitiful movies such as Star Wars, Thor III, or Guardians of the Galaxy II. Since those movies were weak, you can save yourself about 4 hours of time total and about $10 or so. This is just a salient example!
The cleverest way to keep reminding yourself is by printing out your resolutions on paper and sticking them in places that you see all the time. The bathroom mirror, the fridge, your wallet, and so on are some of the places where you can put your resolutions.
Goals are hard to reach when you have no one to be accountable to. When you have no accountability to somebody else, it is hard to know if you are doing the right thing or making the right decisions. Even if you make a wrong decision, there’s no way to know.
Getting an accountability partner (like those that going through AA) is important in order to stick to your financial resolutions. It could be a friend, spouse, or a coworker. This person should be with you on your financial journey and point out where you are going wrong. For instance, if you spend more than you had planned to in a month, your accountability partner points it out and prevents you from repeating it.
It is critical to remember why you have made the resolutions in the first place. For instance, you may be saving up for a new car or a vacation next year. You may be cutting down on your expenses to be able to finance your child’s college education or to save for retirement.
Whatever the reason, it is essential to keep reminding yourself why you are doing it. Your financial resolution is a means to an end. When you keep reminding yourself of the end result that you’re trying to achieve, it motivates you and helps you focused on your goals.
Each time you stick to a resolution and reach a goal, give yourself a reward. It could be anything, from treating yourself to a nice meal to an extra hour of TV. Similarly, if you fail to keep up with your resolutions, you should have a consequence for yourself. Punching yourself in the face like Fletcher Reede did in Liar Liar though is not necessary! Well, it could be depending on the mistake you made!
If you did something right because of your commitment, reward yourself by eating some Red Vines, having some tasty lasagna, watching a Transformers movie, and so on. You deserve it!
Like all New Year resolutions, financial resolutions also need a lot of motivation to be successful. Follow these tips to stick to your resolutions and attain your financial goals.