Ah, those New Year’s Resolutions. Remember them? Sometimes it seems easier to lose 20 pounds than it does to get your debt under control and start budgeting. Have you made any progress with your resolutions?
According to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February. Why? Primarily because people don’t choose specific enough goals.
For example, if you set a goal to “save more money”, that may seem overwhelming because it’s so broad. But, if you had made a specific intention to save an additional $50 a month, then that is a measurable goal that becomes more attainable. By setting a specific goal that directs you on exactly what you need to do, you’re more likely to log into your online banking and actually set up an online pre-payment (or increase an existing one) that puts $50 into your savings account each payday.
To ensure you’re sticking to your financial New Year’s Resolutions, follow these seven tips.
- Create measurable goals. As discussed, this is the number one reason why resolutions fail by mid-February. Revisit your New Year’s Resolutions. Are they too broad? Goals like “budgeting” and “spending less” are great, but they aren’t measurable. Revisit each of your resolutions and assign a tangible metric to it, such as reducing spending by 10%. Then, look at how you will achieve this. Can you cancel a subscription for something that makes up 10% of your spending?
- Set aside time for your resolutions. If you don’t prioritize and make time for your goals, you will never achieve them. Budgeting is often a popular resolution, but you can’t just create a budget once and never look at it again. It needs to be reviewed and updated often. Set aside an hour a month to review your budget, income and expenses to ensure you’re still on track.
- Limit your resolutions. Oftentimes we get carried away with too many resolutions. This also makes it challenging to stick to them. If you know you often struggle with sticking to things, just try and stick to one resolution this year. You’ll be more likely to succeed, which will ultimately motivate you to create more resolutions in the future.
- Start with small steps. It can seem overwhelming if you have a goal such as becoming debt-free. While it’s great to dream big, remember that paying down debt is a process, and it takes time. Start with small steps, such as putting an extra $10 a month towards your debt. Then stick to that. These small steps can make a big impact over time. Once you see your debt going down, you may even be incentivized to put more money towards it.
- Hold yourself accountable. Tell your close friends or family about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable. Ask them to check in with you regularly to ensure you’re staying on track.
- Reward yourself.No, don’t go splurge on a shopping spree you can’t afford. Reward your progress in other ways, such as making yourself a batch of cookies or indulging in a home spa day. Set milestones to make your goals more achievable and reward yourself at each key milestone.
- Seek help if you need to. Sometimes, particularly when it comes to debt, we just need a little help. If you think your goals could become more achievable if you had some guidance on how to cut spending or how to create a budget, then don’t wait – seek help!
Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada provides guidance to clients in solving debt problems. Our approachable certified counsellors are completely accessible to anyone who needs our help. We take the time to get to know you and review your unique financial situation. Then we work with you to help find realistic solutions for developing a budget, managing your money, using credit wisely and building a stable financial future.
To book a free consultation, get in touch today!