UFCU SPONSORED CONTENT — We’ve all heard the stats about the number of people who actually stick with their New Year’s resolutions, but don’t let that deter you from improving your financial health this year! With these four simple guidelines, you’ll be set up to pick the best financial resolution for you, and most importantly, stick with it all year long.
1. Think About a Goal, Not a Resolution
Typically we think of resolutions as aspirational states to achieve. Goals become more concrete when you map out steps to achieve them. Start first by thinking of where you want to be in life and then determine what you can realistically accomplish given your current situation. Use online tools like a savings calculator to help you figure out how to achieve those goals in your time frame.
Need some ideas? Check out this list for inspiration and pick one or two that make sense for where you’re at in life.
2. Make Your Goal SMART
The old adage ‘work smarter, not harder’ applies to goals too. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. By naming your goal, making it realistic, and setting clear steps to reach it, you’re more likely to stick with it. An example of a SMART financial goal is to:
S: Increase my savings account
M: By $1,200
A: By auto-deducting $50 every paycheck to save $100 each month
R: So I can take that trip I’ve wanted to take
T: At the end of the year
3. Celebrate Your Progress
Staying motivated is key to achieving your goal, and it helps to reward yourself in small ways each time you reach a milestone. Maybe it’s a nice coffee at your favorite shop when you meet your monthly goal or a dinner out with a friend when you reach your halfway point. Create a reward system that allows you to congratulate yourself and recognize how much progress you’re making, but that doesn’t take funds away from your larger financial goal.
4. Know Your “Why”
You created a SMART goal and have a reward system in place — but have you asked yourself why you’re doing this? An answer like “it’s the right thing to do” may not be enough to keep you on track when you face a hurdle. Find your motivating reason and put it in writing, or save it as a note on your phone so you can remind yourself of it often.
If you’re looking for more helpful financial tips and tools to better plan, spend, save, and borrow, check out PlanU by UFCU. You’ll find options from talking with a financial health expert to creating a personalized resource center to meet your needs.