You don’t have to give up on your financial resolutions.
- Setting financial goals is only worthwhile if you stick to them.
- Certain techniques, such as finding a responsible partner and tracking your progress, can maximize your chances of success.
- Making the right plans early can help you avoid giving up along the way.
Many people make financial resolutions, but unfortunately not everyone meets the goals they set at the start of the year.
If you want to end 2022 with your resolutions fulfilled and your financial situation improved, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure your resolutions come true.
1. Make sure your goals are SMART
Setting SMART goals is a proven approach to maximizing your chances of success. “SMART” is an acronym that stands for:
- Limited time
This means knowing exactly what your goals are, having a method to measure whether you’re on track, and setting yourself realistic goals that you can actually achieve. Goals should also be something you care about and you should have a specific timeframe to achieve them.
If you make sure your resolutions meet all of these criteria, you’ll know exactly what to do and can easily see if you’re on the right track or if you need to make changes as the year progresses. This makes the odds of success much higher than if you just have a vague goal you want to accomplish but don’t have a specific roadmap of how you’re going to achieve it.
2. Find a responsible partner
When you work with a buddy, you’re less likely to give up on trying to achieve your goals. And working to accomplish them also becomes more fun. After all, you’ll feel like you’re together, and you probably won’t want to disappoint your responsible partner.
Find a friend or ask a loved one to be your responsible buddy. You can each share your resolutions — financial or otherwise — and schedule a specific time each week or month to check on your progress.
When you know you have someone else to account for your efforts, you’re much more likely to stick to your plan, so you’ll have something positive to share.
3. Track your progress throughout the year
Keeping track of your progress on a regular basis is important for staying motivated. If you have a measurable goal and know what you need to do each month to stay on track to reach it, you’ll know right away if you’re in danger of missing your resolution. In this way, you can change course, for example by reworking your budget.
Tracking your progress also helps you stay excited about reaching your goals, even months after you’ve made your resolutions. If you want to pay off credit card debt, for example, seeing your balance go down month after month can make all the sacrifices worth it.
If you’ve made financial resolutions for 2022, you’ve obviously set some things you want to accomplish — and it’s worth the effort to maximize your chances of success. Work on accomplishing these three steps as soon as possible, and hopefully you can declare your resolutions a success by 2023.
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