Make 2015 the time to achieve your family’s financial goals.
About 25% of Americans abandon their New Year’s resolution within the first week, but if you follow some of the latest findings, you are sure to find your path to success.
1. Make A Plan
Studies have found that those people who jump right into action at the beginning of the new year are more likely to become discouraged when the initial excitement of accomplishing long anticipated goals wears off.
In order to create a new habit, there must be a planning stage. It is important to be as detailed as possible. Vague goals are much more difficult to stick to and accomplish. Instead of saying you want to “increase your savings,” write down how you will do it. Include any steps you will need to do in the process.
For example: I will research 10 banks, pick which savings account I want to use based on interest rate and convenience by March 1, and will save a total of $2,000 this year by putting $200 away each month.
2. Make The Money Unavailable
Everyone knows that if you’re always borrowing from your savings, eventually you won’t have one. Unless you are entirely confident in your self control, you may want to consider choosing an account that does not allow withdrawals until you’ve accomplished your goal. Automatic transfers from your checking account to an account such as this will reduce your risk of spending your hard earned savings on immediate wants.
3. Get Support
If you find the pressure and responsibility of sticking to your financial goal too unbearable to shoulder alone, then enlist some help. One economist found that sending yourself text message reminders or PC alerts can help you to take action. Have your spouse check up on you. Post a to do list and get the family involved in crossing things off the list as they’re accomplished.
If you’re seeking some real accountability, stickk.com allows you to set up a cash penalty for not accomplishing your goal by a set date. You pre-authorize a credit card and the money goes either to charity or to a person of your choice.
Get your kids involved. If you get them excited about helping you keep your financial goals, they will be much more likely to want to set goals themselves.
Lastly, tell people about your financial resolution. Not only might you inspire them to reform their finances, you will be less likely to give up on a goal you’ve proudly shared with others.
Remember to regularly compare the best money market rates and move your money to the account that pays the most interest and levies the least in fees.