If you’re like most people, you likely start each year with a list of resolutions to help improve various aspects of your life. The list may include resolutions to help you become more physically fit, further your career growth and improve your personal relationships. Another category of resolutions you may make centers on those that affect your finances.
It’s easy to come up with ideas to improve by year’s end, but seeing those resolutions through and actually making them happen is another story entirely. Spend less, save more, pay down debt—how can you make 2022 the year you actually stick to these and other financial resolutions? We’ve put together a list of tips that can help you keep your financial resolutions throughout the new year.
Set measurable goals
Don’t just resolve to be better with money this year. Set realistic, measurable goals to help you stay on track and to ensure you’re actually making progress. For example, you can resolve to increase your savings by a certain amount by the time you hit the mid-year point, decide to trim your spending in a specific category or promise to pay all your bills on time for the entire year.
Bonus tip: To make it easier, keep those goals SMART.
Creating a budget can take some time and lots of number crunching, but it’s not the real challenge of financial wellness. The hard part comes when have to actually stick to that budget and make it part of your daily routine. And one reason many people don’t end up keeping their budget is because they spend money without consciously thinking about it.
Resolve to be more mindful about your spending, which means actually thinking about what you’re doing when you swipe that card or hand over that cash to the cashier. You can accomplish this by taking a moment to think about what you’re purchasing and how much you’re paying for it. You can also set yourself up for success by staying off your phone while you complete your in-store purchases.
Bonus tip: To make this easier, use our How Much Am I Spending? calculator to determine where your money goes each month.
Partner up with a friend
According to MyFitnessPal.com, dieters who share their food diaries with a friend lose twice as much weight. It’s basic psychology. When we know we have to answer to someone else, we’re more likely to stick to our resolutions—and this works for financial resolutions as well.
Choose a friend who is in a similar financial bracket as you and has a comparable relationship with money. Set up a weekly time to review progress (or regression), and make sure you both come prepared with details and proof to show how you’ve handled your money.
Bonus tip: To make it even easier, you can use a free money management tool, like My Financial Partner, to create budgets and keep track of financial goals.
You can also turn to our Virtual Financial Coach for help with improving your finances by improving your credit score, moving forward after a credit decline, paying down debt and building financial healthy habits. Check in 24/7 for text-based conversations and coaching to help you establish financial goals and identify the actions you can take to reach them.
Write it down
In an era where some people can go without touching a pen and paper for days, writing down New Year’s resolutions can seem obsolete, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. The act of putting your financial resolutions into writing will help to imprint them on your memory. Plus, you’ll have a list of your resolutions to reference throughout the year to help keep you on track.
Bonus tip: Writing doesn’t need to be physical in order to count. You can use a resolution-tracking app, like Strides, where you can record, track and reference your New Year’s resolutions at any time with just a few quick clicks.
Sticking to your financial resolutions isn’t easy. Follow the tips outlined here to make 2022 the year you truly get your finances into shape.