Setting Money Resolutions
While your New Year’s resolution may already have gone by the wayside, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set, and stick to, a money resolution for 2017.
A money resolution is simply a long term plan for what you want your money to do for you this year. Pay down credit cards, sock some away for savings, buy a new car, or replace your windows? Whatever you want your money to do is a personal choice.
Setting the goal is easy, just like coming up with a New Year’s resolution, it is the follow through that is so difficult. But, this doesn’t mean it is impossible, to increase your success at reaching your money resolutions, follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Make your goal realistic.
Take stock of your current situation. Do you have a mountain of debt? Are you looking for work? Your current situation will tell you a lot about your money, and may help you identify a goal. If you are dealing with a significant amount of debt, is saving for a down payment on a car a good idea? By having realistic goals, you are more likely to reach them, which will then spur further goal setting.
Step 2: Set mini goals.
By having a set of mini goals that go together as part of a larger goal, you help to motivate yourself. By accomplishing these smaller goals they help to make the overall goal less daunting. For example, if your overall goal is to buy a house, a set of smaller goals could include, cleaning up your credit report, saving for a down payment, and saving for moving costs.
Step 3: Look at the numbers.
To take your money goal work, you need to take stock of how much your goal will cost, and when you hope to accomplish your goal. Take your cost and divide by the number of months, or pay periods, between now and then. This number will be the amount you need to save each month to reach your goal. For example, if you want to buy an iPad this July you would have to save $80.00 each month ($499+tax=$564 divided by 7 months= $80.00). If this number isn’t going to fit into your budget you may have to revise the length of time you are willing to wait for your goal. Put the same iPad on credit card today, never use that card again, and pay the minimum payment and it will take you 10 years to pay it off and cost an extra $672 in interest.
Setting goals and saving for them may defer the immediate satisfaction you get from purchasing an item, but in the long run, by following the above steps, you can achieve your goals, and save money in the process.