Adding Financial Goals to New Year’s Resolutions

          The top New Year’s resolutions for 2017 vary according to where you look.  According to Peter Economy’s article, 10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2017, the top resolutions for 2017 were:

1.      Diet or eat healthier (71%)
2.      Exercise more (65%)
3.      Lose weight (54%)
4.      Save more and spend less (32%)
5.      Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
6.      Quit smoking (21%)
7.      Read more (17%)
8.      Find another job (16%)
9.      Drink less alcohol (15%)
10.  Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

            He points out a couple of interesting things, one being that saving money is often in the top 5 but the most commonly failed.  Why do people fail?  In business, many people will say the death of any new venture is not having a business strategy.  The same goes for financial goals or any goals.

            To accomplish a financial goal, most people need to create a plan of action or strategy.  One strategy to saving more and spending less would be to take the amount of money you typically spend on an item each week and put it into savings instead.  For example, if you eat out twice a week, you could change to once a week and put the money you would have spent for your second dining excursion into savings.  It does take effort which is why I like using mobile banking.  In times where you choose not to spend the money you would normally spend, you can log in to your bank account and transfer the money from your checking to your savings.  An easier method would be to calculate the dollar amount for the month and transfer it to savings at the first of the month, but you then must follow through!

            Other financial goals to consider are paying down debt, creating and maintain a budget, increasing knowledge of financial concepts and terminology, teaching your kids about money, working with your spouse on your finances.  Most of these ideas are not new except for the one about doing finances with your spouse.

            Over the years, my spouse and I have traded off who takes care of the finances, and it was usually based on who was doing what in life at the time.  Today, however, we both participate in managing our finances.  He enters transactions (I do some as well) into the register and balances the account.  I pay the bills and enter the payments into the register.  The system we have created has worked well for us because we both are aware of what is happening, what is being paid, and how we are doing on our spending.  Every couple has their method for managing their finances, and you need to do what works best for your relationship and family.  A key to successfully managing finances as a couple is setting goals and strategies together.  Things go much smoother when both are aiming for the same prize.

            I hope this blog has given you some thought to including financial goals as part of your New Year’s Resolution!