NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Financial New Year's Resolutions

Financial New Year’s Resolutions


          Making a New Year’s resolution is easy.  Most Americans make at least one.  Keeping them though, is another story – especially ones that involve money.

Come February or even mid-January, the majority of us have abandoned our goals altogether. If you are considering New Year’s resolutions that involve your financial well-being, try some of the following resolutions and ways to insure you are successful in keeping them.

          Consolidate your debt - Feeling stressed about credit card debt or any short-term debt is one of the reasons people stay in debt for so long – they hate thinking about it, which means they don’t look for solutions. If possible, refinance your loans by combining your debt on one low-interest card and focus on paying down that card quickly. By getting on top of your credit cards or short-term debt, and paying them off, you will feel liberated – you can then start using your money for meaningful things in your life.

          Stop unnecessary automatic deductions - If you don’t read the magazine you subscribed to, cancel your subscription.  Look at all the unnecessary small amounts you pay to different shops. When added up, that amount becomes significant over time. Cancelling all those debit orders will amount to a saving.

          Increase your financial literacy - The more knowledgeable you are, the more active you’ll become in planning to reach your financial goals. Consider joining an investment club or learn to trade for yourself or take advantage of any investing help that may be offered by your employer or any financial service provider, such as one-on-one professional advice or educational workshops.

          Start and keep a savings plan - Set up an automatic transfer starting 1 January, and send the funds to an account you can’t easily access. The sooner you start saving, the sooner it will build up. Figure out what you can do without, for example, make lunch at home instead of buying it every day at work. If you have a savings goal, like getting together a deposit for a house, then use this as your incentive.

          And finally, a few tips to help you make those resolutions work:

          - Focus on one resolution, rather than several.

          - Set realistic, specific goals.

          - Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big to achieve.

          - Celebrate your success between milestones.

          - Finally, don’t take yourself so seriously. Have fun and laugh at yourself when you slip, but don’t let the slip hold you back from working at your goal.

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