The start of a New Year is the time when most people decide to implement changes in some areas of their lives. Whether it is health or money related, starting the New Year off with a plan feels good! According to research from YouGov Omnibus, last year 1 out of every 5 people (20% of the population) that made resolutions stuck to them, while 63% of the population said they didn’t make resolutions anyway! Even though 80% of New Year’s Resolutions made by ‘Resolution Makers’ fail by the end of the first quarter, having ‘resolutions’ is a positive thing because keeping them helps you change.
Here are the top financial resolutions that may be on your list for 2019:
- Reduce Credit Card Debt: Are you one of the ‘revolver households’ that carries credit card debt month after month? Make 2019 the year you cut up the cards until you stop carrying balances.
- Start an Emergency Fund: Start with a minimum of one month’s expenses. A fully funded emergency fund should have six months or more of expenses and should be in an account that you won’t access and one that’s not tied to market performance.
- Save for Retirement: Set your retirement savings contributions to ‘auto-pilot’ and if your provider has automated increases, that’s even better! Make an effort to maximize your contributions, if possible. But then again, if you’re doing everything on this list, you can achieve this in 2019.
- Reduce Spending: The less you spend, the more you can save. Although this one seems simple, without reviewing your spending at least at the beginning of this year, you have no way of knowing what you can cut out to reduce your spending. If you feel like you were financially insecure in 2018 or on the brink of it, 2019 is the year to take back control.
It takes a little effort but writing down your financial resolutions and having them in a visible place is crucial to keeping them. Much like a written financial plan, you are more likely to follow your financial resolutions when they are in writing. After you’ve written down your resolutions, share them! Tell others about your plan, your progress, and your failures. Lastly, keep your resolutions simple by taking baby steps and believe that you can achieve your goals in 2019.