If there's one thing anyone can say about New Year's resolutions, it's that few people have kept their promises by the following winter, but that doesn't mean you can't accomplish your financial goals.
Following through on your new financial plans isn't just about seeing if you can last one year practicing better habits. It's about ushering in a new way of thinking that you'll carry for the rest of your life.
Considering the importance of adhering to your plan throughout the year, follow these five strategies to help ensure your success:
- Work with someone else. Sometimes, all it takes it a little push from someone else to get us going on our resolutions, and that push means so much more when the person is working toward the same goals. Whether your spouse, a friend or even your kids, find a buddy to join you on your financial journey. You can encourage each other to continue on when times get tough and be constant reminders of the goals you set together.
- Pick measurable, specific goals. If you say your financial resolution is to save money this year, you won't know when you've accomplished this goal. Instead, be specific. If you only put $1,200 into your individual retirement account last year, for example, shoot for contributing $1,400 this year. This gives you something to aim for and a way to track your progress.
- Write your goals down. A few months after New Year's Day, it can be easy to forget your promises. To keep your objectives in mind at all times, write them down and post them somewhere you'll see them each day. Also, include an action plan for achieving your goals so you know what steps you need to take daily.
- Automate the process. One great feature of modern banking technology is you can automate many of your recurring transactions. If you plan to pay down old credit card debt, you can schedule several payments ahead with our Bill Pay feature on our Internet and Mobile Banking services.
- Don't quit if you mess up. There may be times throughout the year when you make a mistake, but don't despair if you give in to impulse buying or aren't on pace with your savings goals. You have a whole year to make good on your promise, and as long as you're not completely ignoring your resolutions, you're in good shape.
For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.
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