We all love making New Year’s resolutions. Being hopeful, optimistic, and setting a goal can help boost our motivation to achieve what we set out to accomplish. According to a 2021 CBS News Poll, 20% of those polled chose “improving finances” as their New Year’s resolution. This made it the second most popular resolution after losing weight and improving health.
Those who wished to improve their finances wanted to do one or more of the following:
- Save more money
- Pay down debt
- Spend less money
As we all know, the key to achieving any New Year’s resolution lies in making a plan. Below, we’ve outlined 10 useful tips to help you achieve your financial New Year’s resolutions this year.
Achieve Your Financial New Year's Resolutions with These Tips
1. Start With a Purpose
Creating a financial plan for the new year can’t start until you have an overall purpose. Perhaps you want to own a home, you’d like to travel more, or maybe you’re looking to spend less time at work and more time with the ones you love. Choose your financial goal.
2. Create Small and Specific Financial Goals
Setting up small, specific goals that are easily achievable will be your key to success. What’s one small thing you can do today that, compounded over many days, will get you closer to your ultimate financial goal?
3. Make and Keep a Budget
Budgeting is at the heart of all financially-based New Year’s resolutions. Set up an easy-to-follow budget that works for you. Make sure it includes a goal amount to save each month in addition to tracking other expenses.
If you find that your initial budget doesn't match your monetary needs at the grocery store or elsewhere, be sure to adjust! Your budget should work for you; you shouldn't be a slave to one that doesn't fit your lifestyle.
4. Pay Yourself First
Budgeting and improving your finances are not about depriving yourself. It’s also not an all-or-nothing affair. You don’t need to only spend money on bills and save the rest. You should allot a certain amount of spending money for outings, the foods you like, and small splurges. Once you’ve paid yourself, set aside the rest.
5. Stop the Excuses
Perhaps you’ve made financial New Year’s resolutions in the past and failed. Not to worry. This year can be different! But be sure to renew your resolve to succeed. A small push in the right direction and holding yourself accountable can make all the difference.
6. Have an Accountability Partner
Speaking of holding yourself accountable, sometimes having someone on this journey with you can make it easier. Find a friend or relative who’s interested in the same New Year’s resolutions as you. As a team, you can hold each other accountable and achieve more.
7. Check Your Progress Regularly
Keeping track of your progress will not only show you how far you’ve come, but it will also motivate you to keep going. Track your progress with an online tracker app, or by hand in a notebook. Seeing progress will motivate you to keep working hard towards achieving your goal.
8. Acknowledge Progress vs. All or Nothing Mindset
The “all or nothing” mindset says that if you don’t achieve exactly what you set out to achieve as soon as possible and, in every detail, you’ve failed. This is a terrible way to strive for your goals.
Instead of doing this, aim to make a little progress each day. Perfection is a myth. Every small action you take toward your goal is a step in the right direction and worth celebrating.
9. Look to CCCU for Solutions
There are many products available that can help you consolidate debt and save money. Just a few options are Home Equity Loans, Personal Loans, Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), and more. Contact CCCU today to learn more.
10. Know When to Ask for Help
There’s a reason improving finances is one of the top New Year’s resolutions every year. Organizing your finances can be difficult! Fortunately, there’s a lot of help out there. Start at your local credit union.
Start Your Journey to Financial Freedom Today!
It’s worth noting that, in the CBS poll mentioned above, the next two most popular New Year’s resolutions after improving finances were to spend more time with loved ones and to enjoy life more.
The good news here is that when you focus on improving your finances, you inevitably also improve other areas of your life. Worrying less about debt and finding ways of making your money work for you and your future are great tactics for giving yourself more time to enjoy life.