Kick off financial resolutions with these tips

FRANKLIN LIVING NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2022—

The end of the year brings on all kinds of resolutions. As exciting as the holidays are, this is typically the time of year most of us overspend; thus, at the year’s end, we have a mindset for making changes in our financial life.

Making an actual plan is the key to success. It’s easy to say you want to work on your finances only to end up in the same place this time next year. Making a real plan and setting actionable steps, however, will help get you to your goal.

First, you have to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” Save more? Spend less? Reduce debt? Establish this goal first and foremost, then start laying out the actionable steps that make the most sense.

Here are five tips to help you get started, stay on track, be more money-minded and help get you to your financial finish line:

  1. Keep in mind some money goals take longer than others. Maybe you have long-term goals like saving for retirement, paying off student debt or buying a vacation home. Those can take a little longer than saving $10 here and there.
  2. Spend less money. Simple, right? Believe me, if it was, everyone would do it. No matter your goal, you’ll take money from one thing and put it into another. The hard part is not putting it toward short-term “fun stuff” – like eating out or shopping – but intentionally putting it toward your goals instead. Start by taking small steps you can manage, like not eating lunch out, then move on to larger savings goals, like saving a specific dollar amount by a certain date.
  3. Start following some financial gurus to learn about financially-healthy habits. Numerous blogs, podcasts and social media groups specialize in creating smart money habits; go follow some. Seeing those notions in your newsfeed will keep your goals front of mind.
  4. Believe in the budget! Whether you use an app or simply old-fashioned pen and paper, laying out your budget is a cornerstone to any financial resolution you’ve planned.
  5. Set yourself up for success by having an open mind as you start. Financial changes aren’t all or nothing; like any health plan, they take time to fine tune. So have patience and grace when mistakes happen and hit the reset button as often as you need to get back on track.

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