New Year’s is usually a time when people get a wake-up call for their finances. However, studies show that these resolutions are actually trending down this year. This is happening as nearly half of Americans are feeling positive about their financial future.
Regardless, it is always a good time to step back and re-prioritize your financial goals. It is interesting to note that the top three financial resolutions for those intending to have one tend to be the same year after year. They are as follows:
- Save More – 55% (up from 50% last year).
- Pay Down Debt – 25% (down from 28% last year).
- Spend Less – 18% (up from 16% last year).
But achieving these goals won’t happen from good intentions alone. Here are two important steps to help your goals have an effect on your finances:
- Write down your goals. State why they are important to you; make them visible so that you can visualize your plan. When others are asked if this method is effective, the answer is usually a resounding yes – the reason being that seeing your progress offers encouragement, which in turn leads to increased motivation to stick to your goals.
- Take Action. Taking action is putting into plan your goals. However, this step will vary depending on the type of person you are. Most often a financial professional will suggest making a budget. However, the process of seeing a financial professional in the first place may be action enough for some. In addition, implementing some automation, such as automatic savings or smartphone reminders, can go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals.
The bottom line here is what works for you. Action without purpose is meaningless, and the best goals without a plan are just useless ideas. Find what works for you and define it, then carry out a plan to make it a reality.