Resolutions are hard! But they can be easier if you put systems into place that fit you and how you tend to behave. Here's some inspiration for your money resolutions for the New Year.
Blogger Joe Udo, a stay-at-home dad and full-time blogger at RetireBy40.org, shares his story of successfully keeping one of his major financial resolutions during a tumultuous year for his family.
1. Remove as many obstacles from your goals as possible. Automatic deductions to a savings account means the money is gone before you even have a chance to spend it.
2. Figure out where you can sacrifice to save. Do you have cable TV? A pricey smartphone plan? Re-evaluate all of your expenses.
3. Be accountable to others and yourself. Letting friends and family know what you want to accomplish forces you to focus on specific, achievable goals, who can provide tips from their own experience, too.
Joe Udo explains:
"For the year 2013, we had a pretty big change. It would be the first full year where I don’t have a full-time job. So there [is] some uncertainty about our income. The good thing is that my wife is still working and she likes her job, so we were able to have that stability there."
"The resolution that I’m proud of this year is to contribute $10,000 to our kid’s 529 [college savings] account. This one was a little bit difficult, $10,000 is a lot of money and you never know if the kid is going to college. We do think about our kid’s higher education, quite often actually. A lot of people are depending on their kid to get student loans, but we don’t really want to do that. My parents helped pay for my college education, and my wife had help from her parents. So thats kind of our inheritance."
"For 2014, we’ll set up an automatic deduction so we can take advantage of dollar-cost averaging, because putting $10,000 at once, you never know if the market is going up or down."
"To me, our financial goals, we do have to do make some sacrifice. We mostly cook at home, we only have one car that we share, instead of a car each like most families."
"Blogging about financial goal[s] is really helpful, because I have my readers who are keeping track of my financial goals too as well as myself. So if I fail, I’m not just disappointing myself, I’m also disappointing my readers."
What’s YOUR 2014 resolution? Let us know and we'll help you make sure it happens!