How To Set New Year Financial Resolutions You Will Keep
Be honest with yourself: how many times have you told yourself that you’d stick to a budget and save more money? Did you ever keep those New Year financial resolutions? Do you want to finally learn how do to that, and take charge of your finances for good?
In this article, we compile the best tips from life coaches and psychologists that will help you make New Year financial resolutions that you will keep.
Turn New Year Resolutions Into SMART Goals
Resolutions are usually vaguely phrased to reflect what you want: “Save more money” or “Pay back debt.” However, SMART goals are more concrete and action-oriented.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Here are some examples:
- Save $200 every month by cooking my own food using budget-friendly recipes instead of ordering takeout
- Pay back debt by earning $300 more every month through part-time jobs, which will all go toward outstanding balances on my credit cards
When you phrase your New Year financial resolutions as SMART goals, you know what steps you can take in order to succeed. You can plan ahead, set a schedule, find resources, and measure your progress.
You are less likely to be overwhelmed, and even if you experience setbacks, you know what to do in order to bounce back.
Anticipate And Remove Obstacles
Look at why your past New Year financial resolutions failed. Do you always buy takeout because you’re tired after work or hate cooking? Do you tend to overspend when you’re depressed or stressed?
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to magically overcome those obstacles with sheer willpower and motivation. Instead, think of ways to resolve those problems through planning, routines, and support structures.
For example, do all your cooking on the weekend and freeze them into individual portions. Now, you can still do takeout—meaning, take out of the refrigerator and microwave. If you stress-shop, then you have to think of ways you can practice self-care without spending a lot of money.
Change is hard. If you set really high expectations, you set yourself up for failure. So, when you make your New Year financial resolutions, break them down into baby steps. For example, in the first few months, aim to save $100 a month. Then, increase it to $150 and then to $200.
Have you heard of the psychological terms “positive reinforcement” and “negative punishment”? People are more likely to repeat a behavior that has positive outcomes and rewards and avoid behavior where they lose those rewards.
People associate saving money with negative punishment: “Because I am saving, I can’t buy what I want.” So, to succeed at our New Year financial resolutions, we have to use positive reinforcement: “If I am able to save money, I can treat myself to something special.”
So, sometimes it’s worth spending a little money on yourself so you don’t feel deprived. Just set a budget, and look for creative and affordable ways to make yourself feel better. For example, you can buy a good bottle of wine and cheese to savor at home instead of eating out at an expensive restaurant. It’s cheaper, and just as fun!
Visualize Your Outcomes
Visualization can help you create a positive mindset and build motivation. Athletes do this all the time to prepare for competitions. They imagine themselves running the race and being first at the finish line. They mentally prepare themselves for practices so they can bring their “A game” every day.
New Year financial resolutions work the same way. Visualize the kind of life you can enjoy if you follow your goals. When you feel discouraged or worried about financial problems, imagine the best-case scenario instead of the worst-case scenario.
You may not always be able to control your financial situation, but you can control your reaction and the choices that you make. Visualization can help you gain emotional mastery so you don’t lose motivation or presence of mind whenever you face a problem.
Create Micro Habits
You don’t have to remind yourself to brush your teeth or lock the door when you leave the house. These are automatic habits built from years of doing the same thing every day.
The key to successful New Year financial resolutions is to create micro money habits by creating a routine and then practicing it consistently.
The most important micro habit is making a budget and writing down expenses. It’s simple and easy to repeat, but it can make a big difference in your finances. Other good micro habits are putting coins or small bills in a piggy bank or comparing product prices at a supermarket.
Prepare For Financial Surprises
The point of New Year financial resolutions is to take charge of your finances and attain financial stability. However, there are many things in life that we can’t control, especially when we’re still starting out and trying to build savings. When that happens, don’t panic. You can use a registration loan to raise emergency funds.
A registration loan is a secured loan where you use your car registration as collateral. This is for people who are still paying off their car loan and are not eligible for a title loan. If you qualify for approval, you can borrow up to $900 to help you with emergency expenses. And if you are approved, you can get the money either on the same day or the next bank business day.
Apply For A Registration Loan Now
All you have to do is fill out the online inquiry form on our Fast Auto Loans, Inc. homepage. Once received, we’ll call you to explain any questions you may have about the registration loan process and the requirements. We will also set up an appointment for you at the nearest store location so we can assess your required items and determine if you qualify for approval.
Next, simply go to the branch near you and present the following: an Arizona driver's license or your government-issued photo ID, your motor vehicle registration in your name, your valid social security number, and an active checking account statement in your name.
At that time, we’ll review your documents and determine if you qualify for approval and how much we can lend you. This can take less than half an hour to complete. If you’re approved for the registration loan, you just have to sign some paperwork to complete the process. You can get the money on the same day or the next business day. To get started now, fill out the form and you’ll be one step closer to raising emergency cash today.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.