The first couple of months of any new year are great for setting goals and making resolutions. If you haven’t completed past resolutions successfully, try thinking smaller. Developing simple goals will improve your odds of success and keep you on the path to achieving your overall resolution.
Paying off your debt or saving for a house are worthwhile financial goals—but they’re too broad! It would be difficult to attain either goal within a year, even for the most dedicated. The key is to make a plan with several small steps that eventually lead to the bigger goal.
For instance, if you want to buy a house, your first resolution could be to examine your finances and identify where you can cut expenses. Done! The next step could be to add a monthly savings deposit earmarked for your dream home into your budget. Done! And so on.
When you accomplish these small-scale resolutions, two things happen. One, you move closer to your ultimate goal and, two, you develop a positive attitude, because of your successes, that inspires you to keep going.
Get started with these five budget resolutions. These simple steps can get you on the path toward making your financial dreams come true.
- Set up direct deposit. Save time and energy and put your mind at ease knowing your paycheck is in your account when it’s supposed to be.
- Set up automated transfers to your savings account. Begin earning dividends as soon as possible by paying yourself first. This will ensure your nest egg continues to grow.
- Automate your mortgage payment. Stay on course by paying this bill automatically and avoiding steep late fees and penalties.
- Automate your credit card payments. Set up automatic minimum payments each month to avoid late fees. You can always pay more if you want. Schedule the payments a few days before your due date to make sure they are processed in time.
- Arrange to have overdrafts covered by your savings account. Connecting your savings account to your checking account can help to cover unplanned charges with an automatic direct transfer.