It’s that time of year that we all make those well-meaning New Year’s resolutions. For many of us, after the economic impact of COVID-19, those resolutions include getting our financial houses in better shape. Here are three tips financial experts say can help you make personal finance New Year’s resolutions you will actually keep.
Evaluate Your Motives
The experts say that you should really think about why you want to make a specific resolution. Simply saying “because it is the New Year” is not good enough. Be more specific as to your motivations. This year in particular, it can be, “I resolve to save more because I do not want to get caught short again like I was in the pandemic.” Or “I want to be sure I can retire comfortably.”
Try for Small Improvements
When you are trying to lose weight, don’t just say “I will lose 30 pounds”. Fitness experts say start small, with a more achievable goal, like 10 pounds. The same is true of financial resolutions. Aim big, but start small. If your resolution is too big, you may become easily frustrated or unable to track your progress. Instead, the financial experts say that you should break bigger goals into smaller resolutions. This will help make your progress more attainable and allow you to see results more quickly—even if that progress is small.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Understand that no matter what your resolve to do about your personal finances in 2021, there will be failures and setbacks. If you come up short on a particular financial resolution, the important thing is to brush yourself off and pick up right where you left off. Acknowledge what you did wrong, but do not beat yourself up about it. Instead, take some time to reflect on what got in the way of your success, and use that to help you find ways to improve your efforts.
Have a happy and healthy New Year, and here’s to 2021 being a better year for everyone.