New Year’s resolutions typically have to do with getting in shape and saving money. According to a study conducted by psychologist and author of The Luck Factor, Richard Wiseman, 88 percent of people do not keep their resolution. Make sure you meet your money resolutions in 2011 with a four-step plan to turn your resolve into reality:
Break Down Your Savings Goals
If you have a specific savings goal in mind, such as saving for a down payment on a home, you probably also have a set amount in mind to save for the year. While it is fine to have a total goal in mind, you’re more likely to achieve your goal if you break it down into doable chunks. Set a monthly savings goal instead. A joint study from Rice University and Old Dominion University found that savers who broke down their total savings goal into smaller goals were more likely to reach that overall savings goal. Why? Because these smaller goals seem more attainable than the lump sum amount.
Get a Savings Buddy
Similar to how going to the gym is more fun with a friend, so is tackling your savings goal. If you’re married, turn your spouse into your savings buddy. If you’re solo, find a friend or relative that you can motivate to keep up their savings goal, while they in turn are your cheerleader to keep you on track. Accountability will help motivate you, which will propel you toward achieving your goal.
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This step requires some work on your part, but it’s not hard work. Make spending money a game you play in your own mind. The challenge: find as many ways as you can to buy what you want without ever paying full price. Are you coveting the latest designer handbag? Wait for it to go on sale. Are you still carrying a high interest mortgage in this low interest rate environment? Find a lender that will help you achieve your financial goals, with beneficial terms and conditions as well. You get the idea. The money you save can go into your savings account in an effort to help you reach your goal.
Take it One Step at a Time
Once you have your savings plan put together, take it one step at a time. If you try to implement it all at one time, you will end up overwhelmed. Give yourself a chance to ease into your savings goal. Again, each step brings you that much closer to reaching your objective. And, taking it one-step at a time will help you avoid throwing in the towel out of frustration.
Don’t be a part of the 88 percent of people that make New Year’s savings resolutions they don’t keep. Instead, reach your savings goal by using these four steps.
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