The New Year brings new opportunities to set and reach financial goals. What financial resolutions did you set for yourself in 2021? Whether you are saving towards a goal, aiming for better financial health, or simply determined to budget better (and stick to it!), your Liberty Bay experts have some helpful tips to keep you on track to meet your financial goals.
1. Start your financial resolutions with a budget review
When you have financial goals to achieve, it’s crucial that you start by taking a look at your budget. If you want to buy a house, you can’t be spending more than you’re saving! Creating a budget will also help you determine what benchmarks you need to achieve throughout the year.
Take a look at your cash flow using Liberty Bay’s free financial management solution, Money Manager. This will help you simplify your finances and see if any of your spending habits need to change. If you’ve had trouble sticking to a budget before, try focusing on a spending plan instead: what you CAN spend money on instead of what you CAN’T.
Liberty Bay’s CardValet is a great solution that will help you stick to a budget or spending plan, as well as to safeguard your debit card for extra protection and financial health.
2. Stay realistic and positive about achieving financial resolutions
2020 was a challenging year for everyone. Whether you had to deal with financial difficulties, health concerns, emotional challenges, or anything else, it’s important to acknowledge that you accomplished a great deal simply by making it to 2021.
If reviewing your budget makes it clear you’re in “survival mode” and focusing on getting by day-to-day, remember that you don’t have to challenge yourself to reach new goals this year. Stay positive! Save where you can, and take care of yourself and your loved ones first. It’s okay to prioritize the present if it’s too stressful to think about the future. Make sure to check out Liberty Bay’s resources to help you through COVID-19, or get in touch with our experts if you need assistance.
But if working towards a financial resolution is realistic for you, make sure to set achievable goals and that you actively want to achieve. If you just pick a number and force yourself to meet it, sticking to your financial resolutions might end up feeling like a chore that you hate doing. In addition to staying realistic and positive, read on for advice about how to actually enjoy keeping your financial resolutions.
3. Consider the motives behind your financial resolutions
One major roadblock that causes people to get off track with their New Year’s resolutions is a lack of proper motivation. Motivation goes beyond simply deciding on a resolution that you want to achieve. More than knowing what you want, why do you actually want it?
The more detailed you can be about why you want to achieve your resolution, the more likely every step in the process will be extra meaningful and satisfying. For example, if your goal is to pay off your debt, why do you want to be debt-free? Maybe you want to free up money to take a trip or buy something you really want. Maybe you want to improve your credit so you can get approved for your dream home.
Whatever your “why” is, keeping it at the forefront of your resolution is what will really help you stay on track, much more than forcing yourself towards a “what.”
4. Keep your financial resolutions clear and specific
In addition to understanding your motives for your financial resolutions, take some time to get as clear and specific as possible with your ultimate goal and every benchmark along the way. This will help you track your progress, pace yourself, and outline the smaller, more actionable steps that will help you achieve your overall goals. Try using our financial calculators to get started.
Some common issues people run into with their resolutions include not keeping track of progress, setting goals that are too vague or too big to see progress, or diving into their resolution with an “all or nothing” mindset. This often leads to setbacks, disappointments, or general frustration.
Being clear and specific will help counter these problems. Instead of aiming towards a huge, daunting goal and getting frustrated with yourself if you don’t meet your targets perfectly every month, set small, specific goals that will help you progress overall.
Also, set regular times for yourself to check in on your progress. If you’re not on track, don’t get discouraged! Any progress is still progress, so be proud of every step you take forward and outline steps that will help you get back on track by your next check-in.
Excited about what 2021 will bring? Make sure to read up on these financial opportunities we think you should keep an eye on this year.