There's lots of research out there on why resolutions fail year after year. The short of this -very long and over told- story is that setting a huge goal like “I'm going to lose weight” is both unattainable (because you're not setting an action plan along with your resolution) and unspecific (how much weight?)
For example, I'll use my own New Years resolution from 2017: I wanted to keep more cash on hand. Why?
- Because I'm always that asshole stiffing valets and having to put tips on the card at the nail salon.
- Or if you want to have money on hand to give to someone on the street who needs it.
- Because there's also science that you spend less when you use cash.
- And generally, it just feels good to have cash on hand and not have to stress about a card machine being broken or a merchant only taking cards.
I failed at this because I didn't have an action plan in place – no schedule for when I'd go to the ATM or line item in my budget for how much I'd take out. I would say I only kept cash on hand about 10% more than I did in 2015.
So you see, by simply playing the resolution game we're setting ourselves up for failure if we don't take the time to write down (yes, write) what we're going to do to make that resolution a reality. It's frustrating. I'm here to present a different option: a finances only resolution. A non-resolution if you will. Really, it's just a to-do item you should've done already that you're going to ensure you do in the new year. What I love about smaller, more action-based financial resolutions is that they're both very attainable, and even a small money shift can have a big impact on your finances down the road.
So, I'm here to present a different option: a finances only resolution. A non-resolution if you will. Really, it's just a to-do item you should've done already that you're going to ensure you do in the next twelve months.
What I love about smaller, more action-based financial resolutions is that they're both very attainable, and even a small money shift now (think, January) can have a big impact on your finances later (like August or September.)
So, if you resolve to “be better with your finances next year”, and I know we all do, here are 21 financial resolutions to add to your January to-do list to start kicking butt in the new year.
21 Financial Resolutions You Can Definitely Do Next Year
- Investigate refinancing your debt (here's why and how you should!)
- Try the envelope budgeting method.
- Do a money cleanse to reset your money process. (Click here to sign up for ours!)
- Try not shopping (for clothes, non-essentials etc.) for 30 days.
- Try a no-shopping challenge for a full calendar year.
- Revisit your budget and tweak as necessary.
- Think about ways to diversify your income and earn more (start a blog, get started with affiliate marketing, or sell your own products!)
- Have more sex! (Here's how it can actually make you wealthier…)
- Leverage technology to help make managing your money easier (the 5 apps we love to get you started.)
- Take on a gratitude project. It will transform your money belief system.
- Learn the in's and outs of an IRA.
- Sell your stuff on Craigslist and use the extra to pay off debt or fund something in cash.
- Stop eating out for 30 days and save the extra.
- Vow to (finally) learn how investing and the stock market works.
- Start a fully-fledged side hustle/side business.
- Get help for your rampant shopping problem.
- Start an emergency fund.
- Finally open that investment account you've been putting off. Click here to get a free investment plan from Ellevest. (This is an affiliate link.)
- Do an expense audit to find extra money in your budget.
- Thinking of buying a home for the first time? Take the time to educate yourself.
- Start tracking your net worth.
What's your financial resolution this year?