Sticking with Money Resolutions and Cutting Financial Fat
People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals. While this is easier said than done, below are six tips to increase your chances of success with money resolutions as well as some ideas to help you get started on your way to cutting some financial fat.
Tips For Sticking to Money Resolutions
- Know The Reason Why – For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. We all want to look better or get richer, but your resolutions have to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most to you. When your resolutions connect to a deeper sense of purpose, it compels you not to think small or play safe, but to dig deep and stay the course when the going gets tough – no matter how many hurdles.
- Be Specific – Resolutions to ‘save more’, ‘spend less’ are doomed for failure because they lack specificity. Describe your goals and resolutions in ways that allow you to track your progress and measure your success. For example, “I’m going to save $300 by June 30th by bringing my lunch to work three times a week”. You can assign a value to that, say $5.00 per lunch, compared to eating at a fast food chain.
- Write It Down – Writing down your goal and quantifying it will increase the chances of achieving it significantly. Write down how much that adds up in a year and how that will make you feel. “Five dollars per meal, three times per week saves me $15.00 per week. That will bring me peace of mind in case I have an unexpected emergency because I won’t have to put that expense on my credit card.” At the end of the year you’d have saved around $780.00.
- Design Your Environment – Open a separate savings account and commit to depositing that money each week so you can see the progress. Recruit a colleague or family and friends so that it’s hard NOT to do what you resolved. Make it public; Tweet it, Facebook it, Pinterest it! Before you know it, others will jump on the bandwagon with you!
- Narrow Your Efforts – Set yourself up for success and start just one major undertaking on January 1st. Then break that goal down into small bite size steps.
- Forgive Your Failures – The great Vince Lombardi had a quote; It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. When it comes to slipping up and tripping up, you are in good company. It happens to everyone. Just don’t let your mishaps, setbacks and failures mean more than they do. Life rewards those who work at it.
Ideas to Help You Cut Financial Fat
- Pay Yourself First – In order to save what’s needed to meet your savings goals, you must pay yourself first! Whatever your goal is (5%, 10%, 20%) set it aside right away. We recommend setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. There are a multitude of brick and mortar as well as online banks that can accommodate that. Lots of people make the mistake of waiting until the end of the month to think about saving. At that point they transfer their leftover cash into a savings account. The problem is, you’ve had about 30 days to make all those small spending mistakes that really add up. Enrolling in your employer’s automatic 401(k) also helps.
- Save With Apps That Do The Thinking For You – There are several apps that automate savings for you. Acorns, for example, automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers that amount into an investment account. Other apps that automate your savings include Digit, Qapital, and more.
- Once A Month Weekend Spending Freeze – Find free and fun things to do with your friends instead of spending for a weekend. Money you might otherwise be spending on eating out, drinking, Uber you can put towards savings.
- Go Incognito When Online Shopping – Google Chrome and other internet browsers have an Incognito mode. They erase your browsing and search histories while in private mode, as well as dump any tracking cookies you pick-up during your incognito session. Often, online stores base the prices you see on your cache and history, so to ensure you’re seeing the best price, you should give them less to go on,” she says. This could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings a year as more Americans shop online.
- Cancel A Recurring Subscription – How about that monthly membership fee for that gym you no longer use. Maybe you have both Netflix and Hulu! Are you too lazy to make that call? Apps like Truebill and Asktrim do the dirty work for you.
Wishing you health and financial prosperity this year and beyond! Tell us what your money resolution is for this year in the comments below!