If you're keeping up with your financial resolutions for
2024, chances are you've made a dent in, or even paid off, those holiday
expenditures that have been looming over your head or in your bill pile. So
firstly, congratulations! It takes discipline to turn away from post-holiday
sales and adhere to a new, stricter budget.
You aren't alone in your quest to start the new year off on
the right financial foot, but did you know that younger generations are more
likely than older generations to make financial New Year's resolutions? A survey
found that 82% of millennials and 74% of Gen Zers plan to set financial goals
for the new year, compared to 69% of Gen Xers and just 49% of baby boomers,
according to an article by "The Motley Fool."
Younger generations may be more inclined to set money goals
for the new year given that they're generally earning less, saving less, and
investing less than older generations. They're less likely to have made big
purchases, such as a home or new car, and tend to have less savings for a
retirement or emergency fund.
As you reflect on the past months or even years, there are
likely many achievements to note regarding your finances. Perhaps you pared
down your debt or planned for a big purchase. Maybe you started a savings
account or obtained a Certificate of Deposit. (You are probably seeing some enticing
CD deals right now with great APY % and the first of the year is the best time
to jump on those offers!) You're on the right track!
Good money habits are a game-changer. It takes tenacity,
commitment and a positive "I can do it" attitude to make strides in developing
It can be helpful to keep that momentum going in the new year.
You're on the right track, and a fresh start brings great incentive to stay the
course with — and improve upon — what is working for you.
Write down your specific goals. You've made progress, but
for most people, there might still be more to do. Refresh those goals by:
Laying out how much debt you have to pay off. Perhaps
your financial situation has changed over the past year as you have begun
paying off debt and making solid financial decisions. Take a good look at where
Revisiting your monthly spending plan or budget.
Perhaps you've paid off one credit card so you can devote more money to
another. Take a fresh look at how much money you have to work with, what you
need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can allocate
to your goal from each paycheck.
Asking yourself: How will I accomplish my goals? How
much will I devote to achieving those results and how often? How will I set
Giving yourself deadlines and setting mini-goals along the
way. It's important to break your goal into smaller milestones. This makes
it easier to see your progress and less intimidating to reach for smaller,
attainable goals. Those smaller changes over time are often easier to achieve
than trying to make a massive change all at once. But in the end, you've
accomplished the major goal by hitting minor milestones.
Be positive and realistic. Making sure your goals are
realistic will increase your chances for success. Goals can challenge you and
help you grow into a new future; however, choosing an attainable goal is an
important part of success. Ask yourself: "Is it realistic to spend $200 on my
goal each month? Is it possible to pay it off even faster by spending $250 a
month? Or does my budget only allow for $100?" Planning your budget each month
can show you how much money you can dedicate to achieving your financial resolution.
Keep track of your progress. Researchers have noted
that making a goal measurable will help it stick. Keeping track of your
progress and watching your pay-off balance shrink can help you stay focused and
motivated. As you "check off" milestones and "to-do's," you will see your
healthier financial future getting closer and closer, and become even more
Celebrate milestones. Achieving a financial goal is
cause for celebration. Take time to observe your successes along the way. Being
your own cheerleader is a good way to reinforce your new habits, which in turn
makes it easier to stay on track if you hit a bump in the road at some point.
Finally, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you can
Eliminating debt, learning new spending habits, and building
savings are choices that can change your life. They can affect your overall
well-being by reducing stress levels and making you healthy both financially