Making New Year’s resolutions has become almost cliché, because, let’s face it, most of us find it difficult to stay focused on these resolutions through the end of January. Financial goals can be especially difficult to stick with because our spending, saving and investing habits tend to be tied to our emotions more than our logic. Here are 5 Tips for Keeping Your Financial Resolutions:
- Form new habits by tying them to current behavior.
If you have a regular system for paying bills, make a “bill” from your retirement plan and pay it (by making a contribution to your IRA) with the others.
- Put them on autopilot.
One of the easiest ways to keep saving and investing goals is to set up automatic deposits or investments. Payroll deduction for 401(k) contributions is a great example – you never have possession of the cash, so you don’t feel the pain of taking it out of your spending money. Contact your human resources department now about starting or increasing your contributions.
- Make your resolutions achievable and realistic.
Many people make resolutions without much planning or forethought – and fail the same way. If you are serious about your financial resolutions, do some homework, crunch some numbers and put your plan in writing.
- Break them down into small steps.
Trying to keep too many resolutions at once will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead of making resolutions for the whole year now, break them down and add one or two each quarter.
- Work with an accountability partner or coach.
Anyone who has tried to implement a weight loss or exercise plan knows that a buddy system increases the odds of success. If you need help sticking to your financial resolutions, we can work with you to create a plan for keeping your resolutions, whether they include college planning for your child or funding your retirement.
Call our office for an appointment to discuss your financial resolutions and how we can work together to make 2015 a happy and prosperous new year!