Your Financial New Year's Resolutions: How to Stick to Them
New year, new money goals. And while you may be set on hitting your goals now, the truth is that 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside by February. So how can you make sure your money goals last? Here are a few simple tips to help you stick to your financial New Year's resolutions:
Keep It Simple
You may have a handful of money goals you want to achieve this year. Instead of trying to tackle them all at once, choose the one that will help improve your life the most. This may be paying off high-interest debt, saving for a down payment on a home or saving more for your retirement.
Go for the Easy Wins
Take a close look at your budget and look for areas where you can cut back. If you spend a little more than you would like on food, try going grocery shopping on a budget. Want to cut back on dining out with friends? You can save on social spending by entertaining guests at home.
Pro tip: If you're intentionally cutting back in a spending category, make sure your savings go toward your money goals. Otherwise, that twenty bucks you saved using discounts from the grocery store app will be spent willy-nilly. While it may feel tedious, be sure to transfer money you've saved directly toward your savings.
Automate Your Savings
The easiest way to pay yourself first is to simply automate your savings. Set aside a certain amount each month toward your money goals, whether it be for paying back debt or toward an emergency fund. Then use what's left over for your living expenses. A lot of people forget to include their savings as part of their budget — don't fall into that same trap. Not only should your money goals be part of your budget, you should try to set aside funds for these goals first.
Think about leveraging something like a Key Active Saver Account to help with your savings goals. With a Key Active Saver Account, the higher your HelloWallet Financial Wellness Score is, the higher your variable interest rate will be. In other words, you'll earn more in interest, empowering you to save more.
Do a Mid-Year Check-in
About halfway through the year do a mid-year review to make sure you're on track. If not, consider making adjustments to your spending or tweak your original goal so that it's more attainable. Understand that life happens, and things don't always go according to plan.
If you're feeling particularly ambitious, aim to review your budget and savings goals once a quarter. To help you stay accountable, find a buddy to help you stick to your goals. Make a point to touch base with each other on a regular basis — keep it fun and make a date out of it.
Keeping these simple tips for your financial New Year's resolution in mind will help you accomplish your goals. Taking baby steps and checking in regularly will help you develop grit and perseverance in the money department.