If you’re new to goal setting or just fail to meet your yearly resolutions, one of the worst things you can do is try to tackle too much at once. It’s impossible to overhaul your entire life in a month (or a year.) It’s also one reason why most New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.
If you want to be among the 8% of the population who actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions you need to get realistic and practical. And if one of your biggest New Year’s resolutions is to get your personal finances straightened out, you’re in luck!
I’ve come up with thirty small New Year’s Resolutions that can make a huge impact on your finances.
30 Small New Year’s Resolutions
Here are thirty different ideas for financial resolutions that you can customize to your specific situation.
- Track Your Income and Expenses (Personal Capital Makes This Easy)
- Create a Weekly Menu Plan
- Cancel All Monthly Subscriptions You Don’t Use
- Call All of Your Service Providers and Negotiate Your Bills Down
- Switch Insurance Companies to Save Money
- Limit Take-Out to Once a Month
- Kill a Money-Sucking Habit (Like Smoking or a Shoe Addiction)
- Ask Your Credit Card Company to Lower Your Interest Rate
- Pay Off Your Lowest Debt Balance in the Next 3 Months
- Pay Off Your Debt with the Highest Interest Rate in the Next 3 Months
- Calculate How Much Debt You Have and Make a Realistic (but Aggressive) Pay
- Make an Extra Mortgage Payment this Year
- Make an Extra Car Payment This Year
- Participate in a Money Saving Challenge (Ideas)
- Put $400/month in Your Emergency Fund
- Save for a Down Payment on a House
- Save for a Down Payment on a Rental Property
- Save to Purchase a Vehicle with Cash
- Open Up a Retirement Account
- Up Your Investments by 1%
- Start Saving $20/month Toward Your Children’s College Education
- Start Scouting out Potential Rental Properties
- Invest in Your Career By Taking a Course or Attending a Seminar
- Learn About Alternative Investment Options
Earn Extra Money
- Start a Side Hustle (Ideas Here and Here)
- Look for a Better Paying Job
- Sell Unwanted/Unused Items Around the House
- Ask for a Raise
- Spend 1 Hour Per Day Looking for New Clients
- Work 2 Extra Hours Each Week
Where Should You Start?
There are SO many different ways to improve your financial situation. You need to do whatever is going to make the biggest impact for your specific circumstances.
Let’s say the $10,000 of credit card debt you have is driving your crazy. You hate having all the different monthly payments and opening up those statements each month makes you depressed. You already have a decent sized emergency fund so you’re covered if something unexpected comes up. In this case paying off the credit cards sounds like a pretty smart move.
Make a plan of attack, whether that be the debt snowball method (paying the debt off from lowest balance to highest balance) or the debt avalanche (paying debt off from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate.) There’s really no right or wrong action plan as long as you’re taking action!
If you don’t have an emergency fund, start there first. Too many unexpected expenses pop up and you need to be prepared. After that paying off consumer debt is always a good option. Once that’s complete the sky’s pretty much the limit.
Pick a Couple and Go All In
Take a look at your overall financial situation and fill in the gaps. Pick a couple of items that would make a huge impact for you and your family and go all in on them until you meet your goals. If you accomplish those before the year end pick something new and start working toward it.
While some of these goals sound small they really can make a big impact. By the end of the year you’ll be looking back and thanking yourself for all of the hard work you put in!