It’s that time of year! Have you made any money resolutions for 2019?
We know three out of 10 of you are considering making financial resolutions, which is up slightly from last year at this time. The top three goals include “save more” (48%), “pay down debt” (29%), and “spend less” (15%).
But we also know how hard it is to actually stick to money resolutions. To help you out, here are three Simply Money tips for creating a better resolution:
Don’t overwhelm yourself
The start of a New Year can feel like the turning of a page. A brand-new start. But don’t let that newfound enthusiasm be your downfall.
If you’re shooting for the moon and making 10 resolutions, there’s no realistic way you’ll be able to achieve them all. You’re already busy enough, right?
So, keep it simple. Only make one or two resolutions – this will make it less likely you’ll just give up at some point along the way.
Keep it specific
At Simply Money, we certainly hope you say, “I’m going to save more in 2019!” But in all honesty, that’s way too vague. How much are you going to save? Where are you saving it? How are you going to do it?
You need to put specifics to your goal: “This year, I’m going to save an extra $100 a month in my Roth 401(k) by eating out three less nights a month.” Whatever your resolution focuses on, make it detailed and quantifiable.
Use “nudges” along the way
Think about when you log-in to any sort of account you own. The account names are pretty boring: “Savings Account,” “401(k),” “IRA.” If you can, edit these names! For example, if you have an account you’re using to save up for a dream vacation, label it something fun like, “Aruba Beach Bums 2019!”
Another nudge is writing down your goals (“Pay off $200 in credit card debt each month”) and keeping them in a prominent place, like at your desk. You can also tape actual pictures to your written goals. How can you resist saving more for your daughter’s 529 college savings plan when you see her face smiling back at you?
As silly as these tactics may seem, they can give you the tiniest of reminders as to what your money is truly going toward – and provide the motivation to keep at it.
The Simply Money Point
One of the best ways to get financially on track is by setting specific and attainable goals. Good luck, and best wishes in 2019!
And if getting a game plan for retirement is on your mind for 2019, visit our Retirement Resources library for free guides, online tutorials, and our latest rounds of educational workshops.