January 19 Could Make or Break Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions
According to YouGovAmerica, about 25% of Americans made New Year’s resolutions in 2022 - but how many keep their resolutions until the end of the year? If you’re already letting your resolution slip, you’re not alone. Inc. says most people who make resolutions give up on them by January 19 - a day some people refer to as, “Quitter’s Day.”
So, then, what’s the point of making New Year’s Resolutions? Even if you’re already starting to let yours slide, don’t stress. Ultimately, the intention behind resolutions is what makes them worthwhile. Even if you don’t keep them perfectly, considering new ways to better yourself and making actionable resolutions is a great first step in accomplishing your goals.
Bettering Your Budget in 2022
If you’re one of the roughly 73% of Americans who resolved to make smarter money moves in 2022, we’re here to help you stick to your plan. SouthEast Bank offers banking products and insights designed to support your money management goals. Here are a few places to start if you’re ready to boost your financial knowledge:
- Budgeting 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Money Management
- Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What’s the Difference?
- What Types of Insurance Do You Really Need?
- Is There Such a Thing as Good Debt?
Or, if you’re ready for a few hints that can help you maintain your New Year’s Resolutions, read on for a few tips that can help you clear the January 19 hurdle.
3 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Often Fail
In most cases, people don’t let their resolutions go intentionally, and avoiding a few basic mistakes can help you set better, more intentional goals. Here are a few common reasons why so many financial New Year’s resolutions fail:
1. Your Resolution Isn’t Specific
If you set a financial New Year’s resolution that’s too general, for example, “Be smarter with money in 2022,” you’ll probably have a hard time sticking to it. Wise money management can encompass activities like opening a bank account, creating a budget, generating new income streams, and much more. Unless you outline some parameters for your goal, it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed.
2. You Can’t Measure Your Resolution
Even if you set a more specific resolution, like, “Grow my side hustle in 2022,” it’s still easy to miss the mark on your goals if you don’t have a way of measuring success. Give your goal a number, for example, “Spend five hours per week building my freelancing side hustle.”
3. You Choose a Trend Rather Than a Goal
One of the easiest traps to fall into when setting a New Year’s Resolution is to choose something that’s trendy rather than something you truly want to achieve. Even if your friends are making resolutions to go to the gym or eat healthier, if what you really want to do is increase your savings rate, then make that your resolution instead.
How to Keep Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re ready to break the cycle this year, here are a few simple ways to set and stick to your financial resolutions.
1. Set Realistic Goals
First things first - if you set goals that sound great on paper but aren’t realistic, then keeping your resolutions is going to be difficult. For example, If you were originally putting about 25% of each paycheck into savings, resolving to put 50% of your paycheck into savings may sound terrific. Unless you can cut back 25% of your expenses, however, that may not be possible.
Rather than deciding your budget isn’t working and giving up, instead, take a look at your resolution and see if you can adjust it to a more reasonable goal.
2. Make Things Easy on Yourself
Once you’ve made a reasonable financial New Year’s resolution, the next step is to choose a strategy that will help you achieve it. If your goal is to stick to a budget and increase your savings rate, consider choosing a budgeting strategy that can help you get there.
You should also be sure to take advantage of any tools already available to you. For example, set spending limits on your debit card using the CardValet app to avoid making large impulse purchases.
3. Track Your Progress
If your resolution is practical and you have a plan to achieve it, then you’re already well on your way to success! Before you check the goal off your list, though, be sure you have a way to measure your progress.
From keeping an Excel spreadsheet to using the automatic budgeting and spending tools in the SouthEast Bank mobile app, you can choose whatever tracking option works best for you. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come in accomplishing your goals.
4. Cut Yourself Some Slack
No matter how dedicated to your financial New Year’s resolution you are, nobody is perfect. If you find yourself slipping up, instead of giving up on your goals, give yourself some grace. Try to keep in mind that any amount of progress toward your goals - even if it isn’t as much as you’d originally hoped - is better than no progress at all.
Keeping your financial New Year’s resolutions isn’t always easy, but over time, your efforts will pay off. Stick to these four tips, and January 19 will become just another day of the year for you.
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Information contained in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal or tax advice. An attorney or tax advisor should be consulted for advice on specific issues.