Are you ready for a powerful New Year’s resolution?
Eliminating debt, learning new spending habits, or building savings are choices that can change your life. They can affect your entire wellbeing – from stress levels, to physical and mental health. The new year is a great time to commit to your financial health.
1. Set a Goal (and Write It Down)
Goal setting gives you direction. You can decide on your destination and make a plan to get there. Setting goals is linked to higher achievement and self-confidence. Also, when you write down your goal, you are 42% more likely to succeed.
2. Be Specific About What You Want, and Why You Want It
Getting clear on your priorities and deciding on a specific goal are two keys to success. Setting aside some time to reflect on what you really want to accomplish can help you get there. Ask yourself three “W” questions: What do you want to accomplish? When will you achieve it? Why is it important to you?
Remember to be very specific when setting financial goals. For example, you can name the amount you want to save, pay off or earn. You can also give yourself a deadline, and write down your reasons to connect your goal to your real life.
3. Be Positive and Realistic
Goals can challenge you and help you grow into a new future. Choosing a goal that is attainable is another important part of success.
Let’s say you’ve chosen a clear goal: “In five years, I will be debt-free. I will pay off my entire debt of $12,000 so that I can focus on enjoying my family and instead of worrying about money.”
Consider how much you can set aside every month in addition to your minimum payment to achieve that goal. Is it realistic to spend $200 on your goal each month? Is it possible to pay it off even faster by spending $250 a month? Or does your budget allow for $100?.” Planning each month can show you how much you can devote to achieving your financial resolution.
4. Keep Track of Your Progress and Celebrate Milestones
Keeping track of your progress can help you stay focused and motivated. You can see your future getting closer and closer. It might also be helpful to break your goal into smaller milestones. This makes it easier to see your progress and it’s less intimidating.Be sure to also celebrate your success along the way! Celebrating wins actually “trains your brain” by reinforcing your new habits, which in turn makes it easier to stay on track if you hit a bump in the road at some point.
5. Follow Your Game Plan
The biggest reason so many resolutions go by the wayside is that they’re a goal without a plan. How will you accomplish your goal? How much will you devote and how often? How will you set money aside?
- If you don’t already have one, start with a monthly spending plan or budget. You’ll learn how much money you have to work with, what you need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can devote to your goal from each paycheck.
- Use the highlighter test – highlighting essentials from your last bank or credit statement to find out where you can free up more to put towards your financial goal.
- Automate payments toward your goal. Set up automatic transfers or direct deposit from your paycheck to automatically place funds in your goal account.
- Choose one habit at a time to change. For example, if you need to reduce your credit card spending, focus on making that change as your first milestone. Then move on to setting money aside for payoff.
Kick any roadblocks to the curb and follow your to-do list. Clearly define how much you will spend towards your goal, and the steps you will take to accomplish it.
*Logix has partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness to give members access to additional financial wellness content, including this blog article. Views and opinions expressed in the financial wellness content are those of GreenPath and may not always represent the views and opinions of Logix Federal Credit Union. Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with GreenPath, and is a separate entity. Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit www.lfcu.com if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not provided as tax advice. Please consult with a tax professional or attorney for specific tax related questions. Logix is Federally Insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender.