It’s easy to make New Years resolutions but sticking to them, not so much. It’s like the first week of the new year brings so much excitement but not long after, those goals of completing projects and hitting goals becomes such a tough task.
Many times these goals become complicated tasks because they weren’t vivid enough. There’s a difference between saying “I want to save money this year” and actually coming up with a plan to do so. Your goals have to be specific, meaning vivid. They must be measurable and realistically attainable. Your goals have to make sense and not be far fetched. I believe one of the biggest mistakes many of us make when setting New Years resolutions is not putting dates on our goals.
According to Fidelity Investments’ 10th Annual New Year Financial Resolutions study, 32% of respondents say they are considering making a financial resolution for the year ahead. If you plan on 2019 being the year that you get your finances together, consider these tips to keep you on track the entire year.
1. Create a Budget
You’ve probably heard this multiple times and maybe have even attempted to make a budget in the past. Creating a budget and sticking to it is going to be the most crucial and beneficial aspect of reaching your financial goals. Creating a budget allows to to see exactly where you spend your money, and also where you can cut your spending. And make sure your budget is realistic. You’re more likely to stick to a plan that isn’t super restrictive or drastic. Also, understand that when creating the budget, to make it happen some sort of sacrifices must take place because if you do things the way you’ve always done them, you will find yourself in the same place come next year.
2. Pay Yourself First
Paying yourself first means exactly just that. Most people wait to save money after all of there bills are paid. Try to set aside of portion of your take home pay as soon as you get paid. If necessary, change your direct deposit so that whatever you want to save goes straight into your savings account and you don’t have to overthink it.
4. Spend Less, Save More
I know we’re talking about finances but bear with me for one second. If a person is trying to lose weight, naturally what would they do? The obvious answer would be to eat less, and exercise more. Same concept applies with money. If you want to save money, you have to spend less. Once you get your budget together and pay yourself first, you’ll see exactly how much money you’re left with to spend for the month. Make sure that you pay attention to day-to-day spending. Do you really need that cup of coffee or can you make it at home? Would you rather bring a snack from home or pay $1.50 at the vending machine at work? Can you pack a lunch for work instead of going out for lunch?
4. Have a Big Goal in Mind
With any goal you plan to accomplish this year, having a why behind your goal should add fuel to the fire. Knowing why you must make these changes is a big part of actually making changes to your life in every area. Find your why, write it down and put it in a place that you will see everyday, perhaps the bathroom mirror. Make it real.
5. Study Finances
No matter your style, study the things that you want to do more of. If you want to see a change in your wealth, begin to research wealth. Look up financial information online, attend financial workshops, speak with your personal banker frequently, and read lots of books about financials. There’s nothing better than gaining knowledge about the things that are new to you. Develop a passion for saving and investing. See finances from a new lens.
Start small, and finish strong. Bad habits aren’t broken over night. Once you start seeing your finances change, you’ll want to do more. If you mess up, no worries! Make up for it and KEEP PUSHING FOR YOUR GOALS ALL 2019!