As the countdown to 2019 begins, many of us are starting to think about our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us are making classic goals to, “eat healthier, workout daily, and drink more water,” while the rest of us are rolling our eyes at the thought of resolutions all together.
University of Scranton research suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. In fact, most people fall off track by the second week of February. So, why can’t we keep our resolutions?
Most people fall off track because they:
pick too many goals to keep track of
pick generic goals that are hard to follow (i.e. save more, spend less)
don’t have a plan of action
give up after the first fail
We encourage you to ditch the resolutions and set some guidelines to make 2019 your best financial year yet. To actually keep with these guidelines, pick 1-2 specific, tangible goals that you believe to be highly achievable. When you make your goals simpler, it is easier to stick to them and track your progress.
Instead of telling yourself you will spend less money, limit one specific spending habit (like your daily latte) to once per week. This is a tangible goal that is easier to accomplish then a generic goal to, “save money.” We have compiled more of these tangible goals that anyone can accomplish this year!
Plan 1 “No Spend” Week Per Month
Instead of telling yourself to simply, “spend less,” make it specific. Plan 1 week each month where you spend no money at all. This is a great way to either jumpstart the month on a saving regimen or to have an end of the month cleanse after a few weeks of spending. Make this a habit that get into doing to limit your spending habits. Think of it as a fun challenge you set for yourself each month that will help you get one step closer to your savings goals.
Pick Only 1 Savings Goal at a Time
We often try saving for too many things at once which leaves us with nothing saved at all. Instead of juggling retirement, vacation funds, and car payments, pick 1 thing as your main focus. Start your year off with a single, small savings goal and keep yourself accountable to stick to it. Once you pay off that small goal you can move onto the next one until you’ve completed multiple savings goals by the end of the year.
Pay Off 1 Outstanding Debt (Small or Large)
Debt is a common, if not inevitable, problem that everyone struggle with. It can put strain on your relationship, family, and overall emotional well being. Pick 1 debt you want to pay off this year whether it is $500 or $5,000. When you put your focus on paying off one thing at a time, it makes it much less stressful and easier to accomplish. This will allow to pay off debt faster in the long run.
Create an Emergency Fund With a Specific Goal In Mind
Many people toss emergency funds to the wind and say, “I have a steady income, little debt, and extra spending cash, therefore, I don’t need to save for emergencies. What’s the worst that could happen?” This Laissez faire attitude often comes with consequences when life’s unexpected moments arrive. No matter what your financial situation is, you should always have saving for emergency moments.
Make 2019 the year to set up a solid emergency fund. To get started, check out David Ramsey’s emergency fund guide.
Declutter Your Finances
When was the last time you took stock of your subscription services? Most of us let these build up, until we realize that our monthly payments are unusually high and holding us back from reaching our savings goals. Do you still need that monthly box of products? Do you need 3 different streaming services? Are you still paying monthly for extra features on that app you deleted weeks ago? Sit down and take time to declutter your finances.
This is something that everyone could do right now to benefit them and their bank account. Go through all of these unnecessary services that are ruining your monthly budget and watch your bills decrease instantly!
Start a Side Hustle
Let’s state the obvious: having extra spending money is never a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. When it comes to incomes, two is better than one. In 2019, tackle the side-hustle game and find yourself having more financial freedom then you ever imagined. People have doubled their salaries in 1 year on side hustles alone. You don’t have to be business savvy to take your finances to the next level. Here are some side-hustle ideas to get you started.
When you tell yourself to save more or spend less, you aren’t given yourself a tangible goal to track and follow. Try out these goals to take your fiances to the next level in 2019!
Start the new year with a 30-day spending cleanse!