The common wisdom is that most New Year’s resolutions don’t make it too long after January 1st. In fact, a recent study showed that more than 80% of resolutions are ditched before they are completed.

But we’re not going to do that this year.

We’re going to keep all the money resolutions we made so we can finally reach our financial goals!  Here’s how:

  1. Revisit your resolutions

Many resolutions fail because they’re not realistic. You can’t go from spending all of your disposable income every month to saving every last penny all at once. It’s a huge change, and you’ll likely rebel and may end up spending more than ever.

Now’s a good time to go back to your resolutions and revamp them to be SMART goals. What’s a SMART goal? One that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

 

Example of a not-SMART goal: I need to save more money.

SMART rewrite: I will save $100 each pay period so I can take that tip to Aruba I’ve been dreaming of in December.

Not-SMART goal: I need to pay down my credit cards.

SMART rewrite: I will pay $100 extra to my credit card debt so I can lower my debt-to-income ratio to 30% by December of this year.

 

  1. Remember your why

On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, you probably had a clear sense of why you wanted to set your financial new year’s resolutions – whether it’s to create an emergency fund so you don’t have to rely on credit cards every time something expected comes up, to pay down your credit cards so you can improve your odds of getting approved for a home loan, or to finally fund your retirement so you can live the lifestyle you want when you’re finished working.

How about now? Do you remember the joy you felt at the thought of achieving your goal? To stick to your resolutions, you need to keep that feeling top of mind. Put a photo of the vacation spot you want to visit on your phone’s lock screen. Tape a note on your debit card that says, “Do you really need this?” or “Remember your goals.” Use a program like Freedom to block your access to Amazon and EBay to prevent mindless shopping. (You can turn that off to access them if you really need to buy something.) Or create a collage or vision board to remind yourself why you’re making financial changes.

 

  1. Make them easier

Some financial changes can be a lot of work. But many of the time-consuming manual tasks can be automated. For example, you can either have your salary direct deposit split between your savings and checking account or set an automated transfer each payday so you don’t have to remember to save.

Want to pay down debt? Consider a debt consolidation loan to lower your interest rates, drop your monthly payments, and get your debt squared away faster.

Need more ideas to help you make smart financial choices and achieve those resolutions this year? Stop by our branch or give us a call at 914-526-4015. Let’s work together to make this your best financial year ever!