How To Make Your Financial Resolutions Stick In 2018
It’s that time of the year again. Celebrations are in full swing and people all around the world are gearing up to welcome the New Year. With the New Year comes new hopes, new dreams and new decisions. Yes, we are hinting at the the dreaded, infamous New Year resolutions.
Studies and surveys have shown that of those who set New Year resolutions, more than 90% end up failing to achieve them. Psychologists say that resolutions are a form of “cultural procrastination” and there are multiple reasons why people fail. One of the main reasons behind given up resolutions is setting unrealistic goals. This means that most often the issue starts right from the resolution you set. If your goals are too broad, too big or too many, you’re most likely setting yourself up for failure.
How To Make Your Financial Resolutions Stick In 2018
Whatever may be your financial resolution, you need to make sure that you have a clear plan and a definite goal in mind. From our interactions with our users, we found that most of you want to pick up a new habit, give up a bad one, learn a new skill or have some specific goal in mind when you start setting resolutions.
So here are ways you can make sure that your financial resolutions stick this year.
Make Sure Your Resolution Is Achievable
Be realistic when you set resolutions and try to make it as specific to your personal financial situation as much as possible. For instance, one of the most common financial resolution is to get out of debt. But if you are in $60,000 student loan debt and you earn only about $35,000, then you can be assured that unless you get some windfall gain, you wouldn’t be able to pay off your debt completely in one year.
So, evaluate your financial situation and set resolutions accordingly. A quick way to do this is by importing your transaction history to Wallet. Choose the time period you want to analyse, we suggest you take data of at least the last 6 months to be able to get a clear picture about your finances through easy-to-read Charts and Reports on Wallet. Once you know how much space there is for improvement in your finances, you can set realistic resolutions.
Break Your Resolutions Into Bite-Sized Goals
Haven’t we all, at some point in life, realised and accepted that we aimed too high with our New Year resolutions and gave up in them out of frustration? Don’t make your resolution seem like an unconquerable one.
In January, when you’re in a determined state of mind, achieving just about anything may seem possible.
This is why the same resolution looks too big to achieve when you look back at them in June after having taken no action about it.
So the best way to wire yourself to achieve what you set out for is to break your big goals into small, manageable ones. Say, you had planned to save $3000 by the end of 2018. This might sound exciting and totally doable in January. But because there is no short-term goal associated with it, you’re more likely to procrastinate putting away this money. Isn’t it better to prepare yourself to keep aside an extra $250 every month? This is a smaller goal to achieve, which means there is less stress and also a measurable, definite challenge to look forward to every month.
Find Your Financial Weak Points & Try To Fix Them
You may have set financial resolutions many times and failed. But do you know why exactly this happened? It may not be possible always to go back to those years and see what went wrong. With Wallet’s Import feature, you can upload years worth of transaction history, analyse your spending pattern and get reports and charts in no time of the time period of your choice and filtered to the Labels of your choice.
Then it becomes easy to find where you had gone wrong with your past resolutions. Or, with your general money management process. For instance, you may notice that in some months you’ve spent more with cash than card. Think back to that time and try to find why you may have done so. Some of our users have found that they spend less if they pay in cash for purchases, while some others have found the right opposite. So don’t look for generic flash points, look for your personal habits and then work on them if they are standing in the way of your financial resolutions.
Find A Support Group & Make Yourself Accountable
It’s always easier to do something new if you’ve someone you trust cheering you on. So find your own cheerleading squad right away. It could be your friends, family members or any other group discussing personal finance on social media forums. Discussing your progress and troubles with such a group will keep you motivated and also provide you with answers in case of roadblocks.
Another advantage of having such partners is that you’ll be more accountable to stay on track with your goals. Some people announce their resolutions on social media and keep track of them publicly so that they don’t fall back on their goals. Although this may not work for everyone alike, finding even just one friend who you’re sure will keep you motivated and check up on you if needed is a good strategy to make sure you stick to your financial resolutions.
Chart Your Progress & Be Flexible
Your resolutions have been made, the plan has been laid out, now all you need to do is to keep an eye on yourself. Wallet can come in handy for this because you can plan, track and budget with ease. Charts and Reports on Wallet will also give you a visual picture of your finances. Use this information to compare to your goals and make adjustments if needed.
Do not forget to celebrate small victories along the way. Else, you’ll be pulled down by the weight of the big goal to reach at the end of the year. Don’t beat yourselves up if you make mistakes or stray a bit. Acknowledge your mistakes, make adjustments in your plans and move on. This is the reason why Wallet is built in a way that it allows maximum flexibility and customisation. Reset your goals, amend your budget and you don’t even have to start afresh because your data is always on Wallet, in a form that is easily comprehensible.
Over To You
What are your resolutions for the coming year? And, how are you planning to stick to them? Let us know in the comments section below.
Also published on Medium.