Make Your Resolution Stick! 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Budget & Tips for Success.
January 1st signals a fresh start to a new year and ambitions for how you can do things better in the next year - a new years resolution! In a 2012 survey, 45% of Americans reported that they usually make a new year's resolution. Among the top resolutions are "better money management and debt reduction." Unfortunately, a dismal 8% of the survey respondents reported success at meeting their new year's resolutions while 49% reported meeting infrequent success. How can you make your resolution stick? Here are tips to real success with your budget: ? Set realistic and specific financial goals. Most resolutions fail because people set unrealistic goals and become quickly discouraged when they don't meet quick success. Setting attainable and specific goals within a realistic timeframe will increase your likelihood for success and keep you motivated and accountable for your progress. ? Make sure you are really ready and committed to changing your spending habits. Completing a resolution involves changing your behavior. In order to modify your behavior, you need to re-train your brain on how you view and spend your money. Don't let it define your happiness or your self-worth. Getting a handle of your finances can lesson the grip of power that money may have over your life. ? Develop a tangible battle plan. In order to succeed you need to have a concise plan of attach. Think about the estimated timeline to complete your goal (i.e. reduce debt by 10% by the end of 2014). Back out from that completion date and figure out the necessary steps and timeline for each step in order to stay on task. ? Take things one day at a time. Change can be overwhelming. Focusing on taking baby steps towards your larger goal can help you avoid this paralysis. You can't change the past; you can't predict the future½so live in the "today" with your finances and celebrate the successes of your battle plan as they occur. ? Don't be discouraged if you don't meet success immediately and/or have a setback. If you have a moment of weakness and backslide into old spending habits then forgive yourself and move on. Self-condemnation is not your friend. ? Find someone to keep you accountable for your actions or reach out to a professional if your situation warrants. Having someone to help monitor your progress or provide words of motivation can make a big difference in reaching your goals. Recognize if your debt situation is too severe to handle on your own and reach out to a professional for help. ? Dangle a carrot! Set a reward for yourself if you are successful in meeting your goals on time. This provides motivation and an incentive to reach the finish line! 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Budget! In 2014 Plan to:
- Save Money: One of the major reasons budgets get derailed and debt mounts is due to unexpected costs and life events. By setting aside money, even small amounts, you will have fallback funds and a means to get through unplanned events and expenses.
- Give Back: Giving back to your community, through your time or your money, is incredibly fulfilling and can often provide a new prospective on your circumstances. Even if you just forgo the coffee shop once a week and give that money to a soup kitchen or help serve a meal, you will benefit from serving those in greater need.
- Live Life without Financial Stress: According to a 2013 study by the American Psychological Association, "money" is the second most cause of stress in the United States. Problem finances can wreak havoc on your life and relationships. Committing to resolve your debts is the first step towards financial peace.
- Balance Your Budget: Living within your means creates harmony in your budget and contributes to your overall peace. It may take time to fully balance your budget and you may need help to remove debt that prohibits you from finding financial stability.
- Start by taking inventory of all of the fixed costs or expenses in your budget.
- Evaluate if you can reduce any of these line items - i.e. drive a less expensive vehicle.
- Tally your household income sources. Are there ways to increase your monthly intake through overtime, a second job or even an odd job like babysitting on the weekend?
- Look at your total outstanding debt. Are you adding more debt each month based on interest and/or late charges? Do you have available money in your budget to pay extra each month to reduce the principal debt?
- Determine if you can reasonably reduce and eliminate your debt on your own. If the answer is no, seek help.
- Resolve Your Debt: Use our "tips for real success" to make 2014 the year that you reign in your budget and get control of your finances. We are here for your support and we have solutions to help you make a plan for tangible success. Our debt resolution law firm can help you:
- Eliminate debt through Chapter 7;
- Consolidate debt through Chapter 13;
- Settle debt through non-bankruptcy direct negotiation with your creditor(s).
Call us today at 866-261-8282 for a free evaluation and consultation with a licensed Michigan attorney. Make 2014 a happy new year by finding financial peace.