I’ll admit it. I’m one of those people who’s a little wary of New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because we’ve barely come one month into 2020 and many of us are already forgetting about these resolutions or running out of the willpower to work towards them.
When the resolution is as simple as “shower my spouse with roses” – you could probably go a little lax on it (or maybe not)! But if your resolutions include financial goals such as saving more, creating a retirement fund or settling a debt, then writing it off as unachievable could have long-term consequences.
So how do you make your money resolutions stick? Here are a few ideas:
Be specific and realistic
Most people find it difficult to keep to a goal that’s too broad. Hence, to start off, make your money resolution for the year not only realistic but also headed in a clear direction. See that the resolution is reasonable keeping in mind your income and expenses.
Break it down
Consider dividing your financial resolutions into smaller, measurable components. This way they become achievable over a certain period of time rather than being an immediate burden that could end up disappointing you. By breaking it down, you can plan to shave off a few spends every month or create an extra source of income to meet your goal.
Go on auto mode
Can you set up a standing instruction or a direct debit facility with your bank to help contribute towards your goal? By going on auto mode you can preempt any future forgetfulness or avoid the temptation to be lazy.
Get a partner in crime
Get your spouse, family member or friend in on the plan. Have them play your accountability partner who keeps you from straying from your resolution. On a particular date every month, have them check in on your progress and discuss the challenges you are facing. You can return the favour by helping your partner tackle his or her resolutions similarly.
In sight, always on mind
Worried about forgetting your resolution? Keep your goal in your constant line of vision and you won’t. Write it out, take a couple of print outs, laminate it and stick it on to strategic places in your house and car. Also look at loading mobile apps such as Strides (iOS) and Resolutions (android) to help you remember.
What’s your carrot on a stick?
Remember that your financial resolution will result in a reward when achieved. Saving for a vacation or a dream home? Keep a picture of the holiday destination you have planned to visit or the house you have selected as a reminder of the reward.