You may have fallen, but you can still get up!
Reviving Your Financial New Year's Resolutions
by Shaunna Privratsky
9 Reasons Your Financial Resolutions Are Failing
Achieving Financial Goals
It is spring, and typically your thoughts may turn to taking care of your taxes or spring cleaning. How about checking in on your resolutions? Check on those goals and priorities you set back on January 1st, when the calendar pages were blank and the year was shiny and new.
Maybe you are still going strong, sticking to your resolutions and getting things done. Good for you! Or perhaps you ran into some stumbling blocks and your plans got derailed a bit. Maybe you just aren't seeing the results you hoped for. Here are some easy steps to reboot your resolutions and kick start a new routine.
- Revisit your goals. Hopefully you wrote them down. You are more likely to stick to resolutions if you do. Are they working for you? Maybe they need some tweaking. (No, I did not mean twerking.)
- Refine your finances. Did you resolve to get your finances in order? Are you working on paying down your debt? Or maybe you are just fattening up your emergency fund. If money issues are getting you down or you don't see the progress you hoped for, take some time to refine your goals. Maybe you are trying to do too many things at once. Concentrate on one area of finances like sticking to a doable budget or paying off one credit card at a time. Breaking your goals down into smaller steps will get you back on track.
- Reward yourself whenever you reach a goal, no matter how small. The victories will motivate and inspire you to keep going. Don't break the budget, though!
- Recover from setbacks. Maybe your goals aren't working out because you encountered some kinks in the plan. If you were working on a budget, maybe your plan was too strict. Figure out what went wrong and the steps to take to overcome them. Keeping a spending journal will help pinpoint problem areas.
- Research new tools to help you accomplish your goals. If your tried and perhaps tired methods aren't working, find new ways to do it better. Check out all the free money saving tools and apps on Bankrate.com and Mint.com.
- Reach out to professionals. It doesn't always cost a fortune to ask for some expert advice. Many banks offer free account overviews, while some churches offer money counseling. You can also check with your local Human Services center for free or low-cost financial services.
- Reenergize your saving plan. Everyone needs an emergency fund, but it seems like there is never enough money left over to save. Pay yourself first! Make it an ironclad amount, no matter how small, and it will grow over time. Increase the amount you save when your finances start to improve.
- Refresh with vegetables and fruit. If your goal was to eat better, dive into the fresh spring produce available now. Farmers' markets across the nation will be opening soon with a new crop of fresh food. It is always cheapest to buy when fruits and vegetables are in season. Better eating means better health, which means less money spent on doctor visits.
- Reinvest in family time. Maybe you wanted to get closer as a family. One way to do this is to eat meals together. With our busy schedules this isn't always possible, but committing to one meal a day or even eating together on the weekends will foster a closer relationship with the ones you love the most. Eating at home also saves money.
- Revamp your routine. Maybe you are stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over again. Shake things up! Go to a movie in the middle of the week just because or take up a hobby that brings you joy. Life isn't just about work and chores; you have to live, too.
- Revise your goals moving forward. Now that you've identified some areas to work on, revise your goals so they become an ingrained part of your routine. Good habits are just as easy to get into as bad ones, so concentrate on doing what is best for you and your family.
- Remind yourself why you set these goals. Picture how much better your life will be when you accomplish them!
Sometimes when we make resolutions, we bite off more than we can chew. Don't throw in the towel just yet! With some careful revising and revamping, you can reboot your resolutions and make this your best spring ever!
Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and family gatherings, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for the free newsletters at The Discount Diva. You can also visit Shaunna on Google+.
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