Consultations available by video and phone with electronic signatures.

new-year-financial-resolutions

Tips for Setting New Year’s Resolutions that Will Help You Save Money

It’s the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions. These are goals that you have for the upcoming year. A common goal is to save more money. However, a lot of people struggle to keep their resolutions. In fact, some studies have shown that about 80% of people fail to keep their resolutions. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! What it means is that you should set goals that are more likely to be achievable and accompany them with strategies and plans that will improve your chances of success.

Here are some tips for how you can make New Year’s resolutions that will help your save money – and how you can improve the likelihood of you keeping your resolutions for the entire year – and beyond!

Set Specific Goals

Deciding that you “want to save more money” or that you “want to spend less” is an honourable decision, but these goals are also ones that are likely to fail. The reason why? They’re not specific. What does “save more money” mean? How much less do you want to spend? Without specific goals and numbers in mind, it’s difficult to know if you’re achieving your resolution.

Instead of having a vague goal, decide that you want to save an extra $100 each month or that you want to limit yourself to spending $50 on takeout each month, or whatever numbers work for you. When you set a specific goal, you’ll have something concrete to work towards.

Have a Plan

Once you know what your goal is, you’ll need to have a plan to achieve it. Just naming the goal isn’t enough to get it done. If you want to save an extra $100 each month, for example, look at your budget and see where you can cut costs. Once you’ve figured out what needs to be cut to save $100 each month, create a plan to help you achieve that goal. Maybe you’ll need to track your spending more carefully or create a separate saving account and set up automatic transfers.

Once you have a plan for how you’re going to achieve your goal, you’ll be on the path to keeping your resolution.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Figure out a way that you can hold yourself accountable for keeping your resolution. This can give you the motivation you need to succeed. One common strategy that many people use is telling a friend or family member their resolution. When you tell someone else your goal, you create a situation where that person may “check up on you” later. This holds you accountable to your goal and gives you an extra push to keep going.

Give Yourself Milestones and Rewards

If you resolution is a long-term one, such as if you decided to save a certain amount of money each month, you may want to “check in” with yourself every few months to see if things are still going according to plan. Set milestones along the way and use these opportunities to motivate yourself.

Giving yourself small rewards for reaching these milestones can be a big help. For instance, if you want to save $100 each month, and you managed to do so for four straight months, give yourself a reward such as a special drink from your favourite coffee shop or whatever other treat means something to you. By rewarding yourself, you’ll have the motivation to keep going.

Make Changes if Necessary

Sometimes you’ll make a resolution that isn’t realistic. It happens to everyone. You get wrapped up in the moment and you set a goal that doesn’t really make sense. That’s okay! If you’ve been working at your resolution for a while and you can’t seem to reach your milestones and stick with your plan, review the situation and see if changes need to be made.

Maybe your plan has flaws, maybe your goal is too difficult, maybe circumstances have changed and what you originally decided doesn’t make sense for you anymore. Whatever the situation, if your goal isn’t working, make some changes. You may have to change your plan or modify your resolution, but that’s fine. It’s better to work towards an achievable goal and succeed than struggle to reach an impossible goal and end up frustrated and feeling down.