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Can You Afford Your New Year’s Resolution?: Set Yourself Up For Success

New Year’s resolutions: 45% of people make them each year, according to Statistic Brain, and just 8% of people keep them. There are many reasons why a New Year’s resolution might not succeed. If the goal is too lofty, such as becoming fluent in French, or too expensive, such as traveling the world, it’s difficult to achieve. But, there are some resolutions that are easier to stick to than others. Those resolutions are the ones that help you save money in the long run and improve your financial situation. If you’re dealing with debt or simply want to increase your savings, make a plan for a New Year’s resolution that will succeed.

Pick One

In the excitement of the New Year, it’s very easy to get into a resolution haze. You might resolve to lose 20 pounds, pay off $20,000 in debt, and get your emergency fund under way. While all of those are great resolutions, if you try to do all of them at once, you might set yourself up for failure.

Instead, choose the resolution that will provide you with the most immediate benefits and focus on that one. If you have weight-related health issues, losing 20 pounds might be your best pick. If you currently have high-interest debt, resolving to pay it off might be the better choice.

Make a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a resolution, you want to make a plan for action. It’s easy enough to say “I’ll pay off $10,000 in debt this year.” What’s more challenging is deciding how you’ll do it. Working with a non-profit credit counselor can help you put together a plan for success. For example, the counselor can help you establish a budget, recommend the debts to focus on first, or recommend a debt management plan if that’s the best option for you.

Breaking your resolution up into bite-size increments can help you achieve it and can help make it more affordable. In the case of paying off debt, you might decide to pay off a high-interest rate credit card during the first half of the year and can decide on a monthly payment that will help you reach that goal. Instead of looking at paying off a big sum, such as $2,000, you can look at a smaller monthly number, such as $400.

Automate It

When you have a concrete plan in place, the next challenge is sticking to it. Putting your resolution on cruise control or autopilot can help you keep it without really thinking about it. In the case of paying off debt or saving money, the easiest way to automate your New Year’s resolution is to set up automatic payments or transfers to savings. That way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to make a payment each month. In the case of savings, you’re less likely to skip a month of savings if you never see the money to begin with. If you’re trying to lose weight, ordering specific groceries or meal plans can help you avoid the temptation of eating too many sweets or snacks.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to sticking to a New Year’s resolution is to take things one step at a time. You might want that debt paid off now or that weight to fall off right away. But, it takes time. Breaking your resolution up into small steps can help you be successful.

Looking for further help in becoming successful? Talk to the credit counselors at CESI Solutions to get you on your way.

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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.


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