If you do a bit of research on the types of resolutions Americans set for the New Year, you will find that spending less and saving more money is always in the top five most frequent goals. Individuals like to think of the start of a new year as a clean slate- a solid benchmark in time to make a change in their lives. Saving Money, losing weight, getting more organized, quitting smoking, and leading a healthier lifestyle are all popular resolutions, and they all have something in common: once achieved, they involve the alleviation of stress!
We’ve polled the Fairfield Funding office and put together a list of 5 tips to help you achieve the financial goals that you have set for 2014, and have broken them down into easy-to-follow steps!
1) Look at the big picture. So you’ve decided to make 2014 the year that you finally do something to grow your savings or get rid of your debt. You should start by stating your entire goal in once sentence, for example “I want to achieve my financial goal of getting out of debt so that I can start saving.” Once you have stated your whole goal, you can then move to the next phase.
2) Keep yourself in check! Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Set small daily or weekly checklists that contribute towards your financial plan. Completing these simple tasks will add up and make your goal that much more attainable. A good smaller goal that would help you limit yourself would be to set a defined dollar amount away each week. Even if it’s just $20, that amount will have grown to almost $1,050 by the end of the year. Saving a bit each day, especially combined with your other financial goals, can make a big difference by January, 2015.
3) Don’t be afraid of messing up. Almost nobody maintains a perfect New Year’s resolution, especially if their goal involves money. Unexpected bills come up, occasionally you will want to splurge on a nice meal… those things are ok. The key is moderation. The worst thing you can do is let a small slip-up spiral into an entire wasted resolution.
4) Keep track of your progress! This can range from putting together a spreadsheet that you enter data into, to something as simple as a checklist on a calendar that you cross off when you’ve achieved your financial goal for the day. The key is to be organized—it’s much more difficult to be steadfast in completing your tasks when you frequently have to check what you need to do that day. An organized savings system is much more easy to keep track of.
5) Reward yourself from time to time. If you feel like you have been good about holding on to your resolution to achieve your financial goals of 2014 (and if you are staying organized, you will know exactly how you are doing), don’t feel bad about treating yourself to a small token that will reward your good habits!