The key to achieving resolutions is keeping them simple. There’s no doubt the same principle applies to financial goals set by military members, spouses and families.
Overall, your New Year’s resolutions should focus on developing good financial habits. These tips and goals should get you on the right path.
Don’t burden yourself with a list of 10 or more goals. You’ll feel overwhelmed and barely chip away at all of them. Instead, choose no more than three financial goals.
When setting New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to set lofty goals. But when it comes to money, being unrealistic sets you up for disappointment. For example, few — if any — people will climb out of $40,000 debt in 12 months time. What you could do is make a payment plan, allotting a certain dollar amount each month toward debt.
In line with the above tip, you don’t need to budget every type of spending. Try budgeting for things you know you’ll buy, such as groceries. If you never used coupons before, try doing that.
Again, reason with yourself. How likely is it that you’ll save $10,000 this year? Shoot for an attainable goal by saving in small doses. Save a percentage of each paycheck or the same dollar amount each pay period. Make it an affordable figure.
Take the initiative and teach yourself about personal finance. Set a goal to read a few books about that topic this year, subscribe to a personal finance magazine or find resources online.
Why not make 2012 the year you start a retirement fund or invest money in a mutual fund? Sit down with a personal finance representative at your credit union or bank to learn about investment or individual retirement account options.
If you find yourself having to adjust your goals during the year, don’t panic. Money is fluid, that’s why it’s called currency. Adapt to changes as necessary and get back in line with your goals as soon as you can.
Image courtesy of Creativity103 under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.