Every New Year people make resolutions to lose weight, improve their finances and strengthen their relationships.
I call it the New Year, New Me Crap.
We all want a fresh start with a New Year. However, most people who get those gym memberships sink back into old habits by February. In fact, January 17 is officially known as Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day.
Wow. Depressing, huh?
Did you make New Year's resolutions about money?
Not sure how you'll stick with it when the time comes?
Here's how you reach those financial goals without fizzling out:
1. Commitment. It's going to require you stick with it all year. That means every day of the year. You can't be financially responsible for a few months and then go crazy spending on your vacation. You'll have to decide what you want and what you want to give up to get it. It will be worth it, just like losing twenty pounds. Stay focused on the goal.
2. Accountability. Ah, here's where the rubber meets the road. In order to truly change and reach some of your New Year's financial goals, you really need a partner. Someone that will give you a good slap when you cheat yourself. (I'm kidding! Seriously if you think they need to slap you...) Someone that will make you accountable throughout your journey to financial success. That can be a friend, a spouse or even a financial advisor. This person can be the one to remind you of your goals and motivate you to stick with it.
3. Habits. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. You cannot expect to make financial progress running your finances the same way you did last year. Think about it, are you still in debt? Do you still have very little savings? It's probably because you haven't changed your habits. Decide you are going to set up that auto transfer to savings from your checking. Set a date to increase your 401(k) deferral. Put it on the calendar and schedule it!
4. Reminders. Finally, you might want to write your New Year's financial goals somewhere visible that you'll see every day. Try a post it not on your mirror. That way you look at it at least twice a day when you brush your teeth. Create a screen saver on your phone or computer. That way when you use them, you get an automatic reminder.
If you do these four things you'll have a better chance of actually achieving your New Year's resolution about money. The bonus will be that you end the year more financially free than you started it. Plus, you won't feel that New Year, New Me Crap again.