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How you stick to your financial New Year's resolution

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New year, new money goals. That's what the saying goes, right?

Goals for self-improvement do not just begin and end with your body. It also means that your finances are in order. Here you can read how to set your financial resolutions this year ̵

1; and how to stick to them.

1. Keep your goals specific and realistic

Do not doubt yourself when it comes to the goals you want to achieve. Instead of saying, "I want to become debt-free," you say, "I want to pay off my credit card debt." Instead of & # 39; I want to save money & # 39 ;, you say & # 39; I want to save $ 5,000 & # 39 ;.

It is also important to make your goals realistic. Do not say that you want to save enough money to buy a house if there is a good chance that you will no longer buy in three years. Move that to something like: "I want to save $ 5,000 on my down payment."

2. Sketch your plan for success

Financial plans differ for each purpose. How you handle debts may differ from how you handle saving. For example, if you are trying to pay off a substantial portion or the rest of your student loans, check what you owe first. Write down your minimum payments every month, the interest rate and your expected date to pay them off.

Then mess with your numbers. What does the final payment look like if you increase the monthly payments by 25%? What about 50%? Could you afford to double your monthly payments? Find a number that you are familiar with and adjust it to your monthly budget. Set your payments to automatically deduct your bank account. Use bonuses or extra money to pay off the debt. Whatever you have to do to achieve that goal without sacrificing too much, do your best to meet those expectations.

3. Check your budget

Having a budget is vital to ensure that you can stick to your resolutions. It is handy to make a budget, but remember that it is not always in the air. Changes in life and circumstances emerge where you need to adjust your budget. Your new financial resolution is one of them.

See how your resolution fits within your budget. If it is tight or not immediately feasible, look at what changes you need to make it work. Can you stop a monthly subscription or take the lunch to work? Would you be willing to cut back on eating out or happy hours with friends? It is good to make sacrifices to achieve the goals that you want to achieve, but do so within reasonable limits. Find a middle ground that makes you feel comfortable.

4. Prioritize it

It is difficult to achieve a goal if you do not prioritize it. Check weekly or monthly or when you are paid. Your financial resolution must be at the forefront of your money decisions, just like paying rent and other bills.

Track your progress to ensure that your goals are reasonable. Sometimes we realize that we have to change things if we have already started, and that is allowed.

5. Be flexible for the unknown

You can set goals for the time being, but what if something drastic or unexpected occurs? Perhaps you have lost your job or a loved one and you have trouble making ends meet. Goals are a nice to have thing, but not always a must-have thing. You set them based on your current self and mindset, which can change as time goes by or something pops up.

It is important to remember that when you leave the job, you do not have to give up. You may only need to adjust your goals, your budget or both. Change is inevitable, so be open to the ability to update your financial resolutions if needed.

6. Tell a friend

Sometimes we need a partner when we go to the gym to hold us responsible for getting a workout. Our financial resolutions are no different. Ask a friend or other involved person to make sure you stay on track. It is like a coach for your money goals.

If you try to pay off debts or save for large costs, your other half can play an important role in ensuring that that happens. In that case, challenge each other every week or month to see who can contribute more to your intentions. The idea of ​​winning – even for nothing but a title – is perhaps the push that you both need.

You may also find that writing your progress helps. Some people share their debt compensation stories through personal blogs, which may work for you. Even if nobody is reading it (initially!), It may be detailed enough to describe your goals and your attack plan.

If you have readers, some may provide guidance and support to achieve those goals. Sometimes you will find others who have been inspired by your work to make their own financial decisions.

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