You may roll your eyes in skepticism when someone spouts out their New Year’s resolution to you. After all, a whopping 8 percent of us are actually successful at fulfilling our goal. With that kind of resolve, it would be easy to become a cynic.
However, there are some stats that point to the power of a resolution. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, “people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.”
Perhaps the lesson here is that you are more likely to be a part of that 8 percent if you actually put in some effort.
The Money Resolve
Resolutions involve many different topics, but commonly, there seems to be a focus on education, weight and the one thing we all have a love and hate relationship with: money.
You may have some financial goals of your own, things you’ve been thinking about starting but haven’t yet made the push to put into practice. You may want to save more, not spend quite as much or you may want to pay off credit cards or student loans.
You aren’t alone in this process.
Sometimes the implications of following through or the sacrifice of having success in these goals and ideas is enough to say, “Eh. Maybe next year.” However, next year you’ll wish you had done something this year. A tighter budget does mean giving up some comforts, but is it worth it for a little money in the bank? Sure.
Financial Resolutions Work
While the internal debate of what you should or shouldn’t do with your money next year is still rolling around in your mind, it may help you to know that recent studies show that financial resolutions actually work.
Not only do they work, but they can also help you achieve overall financial fitness.
Fidelity Investments recently surveyed more than 2,000 people, asking them about their experiences with New Year’s resolutions. Nearly 37 percent of those surveyed were thinking about making some sort of financial resolution.
The great thing about those who made financial resolutions in the prior year? More than half of them believed they were more financially fit because of it. That’s a promising statistic.
So if financial resolutions actually work, what can you do to make sure they work for you?
- Make a Plan
There are short-term goals and long-term goals. Your plan should include both. Each of your goals should be considered mea08surable, meaning they are tangible and progress can be evaluated. Whether it’s that you want to add $75 each month to a vacation fund or that you want to spend $25 less each month on dining out, make sure that your goals are feasible.
- Write It Down
Once you’ve made some decisions regarding your top priorities in achieving financial fitness, it’s important to write it all down. Putting it in writing will help solidify your resolve and make it that much more concrete.
- Seek Financial Advice
There are a lot of different investment options out there to help you get the most out of your dollars. Seek out professional financial advice from your bank or local accounting firm to make sure you are investing wisely.
- Get Support
Financial fitness of a household has to be a goal of more than one person. If you feel it’s time to make some changes to improve your finances, get your partner onboard. Having his or her support will do wonders in getting to your goal. With someone there to help you all stay on track and share the burden of your goals to save and pay off debt, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
If your goal is to put more into savings, set it up to be done automatically each paycheck. You can divert a portion of your check to a separate savings account, or use your online banking system to transfer funds. If it’s done automatically, you won’t be tempted to spend money on other things.
The new year is a perfect time to go ahead and make that resolution. Making it will undoubtedly get you farther than not. Plus, if you’re resolving to pay more attention to your finances, be encouraged that there are many out there just like you trying to do the same thing – and they are succeeding. Make this the year you stick to your resolution and become fiscally fit.