So you made a New Year’s resolution involving finances, and it’s already fallen to the wayside.
We get it. Maybe you resolved to reduce your credit card debt, save for a home or build an emergency fund, or even something as simple as create and stick to a budget. You must live and breathe that commitment each and every day if you are to achieve it, but relax—it’s not that hard. Below are some helpful hints to help you keep your 2014 financial resolution:
Take Pen to Paper
Write down your goal. Insure that it meets the following criteria:
- The goal must be specific. What action will you take? “I will deposit $200 from each paycheck into my retirement account” as opposed to “I will save more this year.”
- Make sure it’s measurable. You must be able to measure whether or not you are on track.
- The goal must be achievable. Do your homework and ascertain if your goal is financially achievable.
- Make it realistic. If your job requires you to drive all over town to meet with clients, you don’t have any control over whether you can spend less on gas, so don’t make that your goal.
- It should be timely. Your goal must be stated in a way that holds you accountable to a time table. For example, “I will deposit $50 a month” as opposed to “I will save more.”
Now that you’ve set your goal, stay on track.
Your goal may be to deposit $200 a month into and a savings account, but what is your ultimate goal? A wedding? A new car? State what you want and tell your friends, “I want the wedding of my dreams.” Study your goal, see your goal in your mind’s eye and visualize the reward.
A typical method of getting out of debt or building a savings is to use a portion of your paycheck. Why not take a second job for a while and get a second paycheck? Or, consider selling as asset to help. If you receive regular payments from a structured settlement or annuity, a company like J.G. Wentworth may be able to purchase your future payments for a lump sum of cash now. You could then use that money to help pay off your debit, launch a savings account and start living the life of your dreams.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we tend to forget about our goals. Plaster sticky notes everywhere reminding you of your goal. Put a note on your computer, your bathroom mirror or even in your wallet to remind yourself of what you are going to achieve that day. Create mini challenges for yourself, such as, “Today I will not spend any money.” It will become a habit before you know it. Many people have success with daily affirmations, too.
You can do this—now get going.
About the Author: Mary Ross is a health and wellness expert who focuses on emerging technologies.