For most people, the start of the new year can be a crucial trigger for change, perfect for helping to launch a positive evolution in your life. You might decide that you want to start the new year by losing some weight, or you might feel that the best way to go into 2019 is to give up an unhealthy habit like smoking.
One of the most popular kinds of new years resolutions is the “financial” resolution to save more and spend less. Unfortunately, like many other goals made at the end of December, your financial targets can begin to grow a little blurrier as you move through January. So, how do you set financial goals that you can really stick to for 2019?
- Be Realistic
First things first, you’re only going to stick to a goal you set for yourself in 2019 if you know you can reasonably accomplish it. It’s no good telling yourself that you’re going to save $10,000 by the end of the year if you know that you don’t earn enough money to do that. It’s also silly to tell yourself that you’re never going to make any mistakes with your money too.
Set achievable goals that challenge you but aren’t too ridiculous. For instance, instead of saying you’re never going to get another loan, tell yourself that you’re going to compare your loans and make sure that you’re getting the best deal if you have to borrow money. Instead of committing to saving half of your income each month, tell yourself you’ll save 10 or 20%.
- Break Your Goal into Chunks
A common reason that new year’s resolutions fail, is that people tell themselves that they have the full twelve months until the next year to make a lasting change. However, you’ll find that you accomplish a lot more, a lot faster if you break your long-term goals down into smaller chunks. Don’t tell yourself that you’re going to save $2000 by the end of the year. Instead, look at how much money you can reasonably afford to save in your budget at the end of each month, and challenge yourself to save that much. That way, you’ll be able to track your progress and celebrate your success every 30 days.
Making your financial new years resolutions smaller and more accessible is a good way to make sure that you don’t either put them off or feel so overwhelmed that you just give up on them.
- Enlist Some Help
When making a significant change in your life, it’s always a good idea to have supportive people on your side. Changing your money spending habits can be particularly tough when your friends and family are always asking you to do expensive things. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to let the people around you know what you’re trying to accomplish this year and see whether they can help you out.
Support from your friends and family will help to keep you on track towards your targets, and it will also give you someone besides yourself to hold yourself accountable to when you’re concerned that you’re just going to fall off the bandwagon.
- Set up Incentives
Sometimes, it will be a lot harder to keep yourself motivated towards achieving your financial goals than other times. For instance, when all of your friends are spending money on weekend drinks and restaurant meals, it’s difficult to tell yourself that you should stay at home. With that in mind, it’s worth putting a few rewards in place if you achieve certain milestones in your goals.
For example, you could tell yourself that if you save a certain amount of money by the time you get to March this year, you’ll go out for a delicious meal at your favorite restaurant with the people that you care about most. Just make sure that you put some extra money aside in your budget to pay for that meal so that you don’t need to take the cash out of your savings.
- Give Yourself a Break
Finally, make sure that you don’t give yourself too much of a hard time when you make mistakes, or don’t meet your targets straight away. We all have problems on the path to significant change, and if you find yourself accidentally going over your budget once or twice during the year, it’s important not to give up hope entirely.
Instead of beating yourself up, ask yourself what led to the mistake and what you can potentially do to avoid it in the future. For instance, if you know that something like visiting a certain store triggers bad spending habits, you can do your best to avoid that store next time you’re feeling vulnerable.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
That not all will enjoy my writing.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate my ability to be creative.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Proud to have a career in writing
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I guess many…my sense of humor….
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my writing and family.