For many of us, the start of a new year is the chance to do things the “right” way and make some healthy changes that will positively affect our lives.
Many people sit down to make “New Year’s Resolutions” and some of those inevitably involve financial resolutions of one kind or another. Now, to be frank, while a resolution usually comes from somewhere sincere, the challenge isn’t making the resolution, but keeping it. With that in mind, here are a number of strategies for doing just that in 2015. Enjoy.
Strategy #1: Focus on 1 or 2 things, not a bunch
If you’re like most consumers (us included), you have a bunch of things that you could definitely change, financially speaking, that would help you in 2015. Splitting your attention between all of those things is probably not a great way to get them accomplished however, so instead pick 1 or 2 of the most important are meaningful and focus on those exclusively.
Paying down credit card debt, for example, or creating a budget, might be your goals for this year. Whatever resolution you make, if you only make 1 or 2 the chance of keeping them will be much higher.
Strategy #2: Be as realistic as possible
Let’s be honest, if your budget is already stretched to the limit and you aren’t getting a raise in 2015, you’re not going to be able to save $50,000 this year. On the other hand, you could certainly save $2800? How? If you put aside $50 per week for the next 56 weeks, at the end of the year you’ll have $2800. That’s enough for an Emergency Fund (for example) and, if you do it for 10 years, you’ll have nearly $30,000. Put that into an IRA and you’ll have considerably more.
Strategy #3: Whatever resolution you make, make a habit out of it
We mentioned above that you could put aside $50 per week and you would have $2800 at the end of the year. If your goal is to fund an Emergency Fund, that habit of putting $50 in a specific savings account every week is the best way to do it. Any type of financial resolution you have, or goal you make, can be achieved in a similar fashion
Strategy #4: Recruit others to hold you accountable
Let’s be honest, if you make a financial resolution and don’t tell anyone about it, and then you either give up on it or fail, the only person that knows about it is you. On the other hand, if you tell your best friend, your spouse, a colleague at work or anyone else who will hold you accountable to that resolution, the chance that you’ll quit or give up on it will be considerably lower. (Let’s face it, nobody likes to hear that they are a failure, even if it’s just in jest.)
So there you have it, 4 Strategies that you can use to stick to your financial resolutions in 2015 and right your financial ship, as it were. Best of luck and, if you need financial advice, send us an email or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you with answers and advice.