If you made promises this time last year that you couldn’t keep, don’t beat yourself up. You start a mission with a 91% failure rate.
Read: What is the 75/15/10 Rule? A Simple Path to Financial Prosperity
See: Pocket an Extra $400 a Month With This Simple Hack
According to the Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, research shows that only 9% of people see their New Year’s resolutions through, with 23% giving up in less than a week. and 43% threw in the towel by the end of January.
The good news is that last year’s disappointments are in the history books. The new year brings a new opportunity to learn from the mistakes of 2023 and join the winning 9% in 2024. Even though it’s been almost a month, there’s still time to fix things.
Did the past year get you away from your savings goals? Here’s how to hide your regrets and get back on track to living your financial dreams.
Sponsored by: Owe the IRS $10K or more? Schedule a FREE consultation to see if you qualify for tax relief.
Take an Honest Inventory of What Went Wrong
Don’t dwell on the shortcomings of the past year, but analyze what contributed to them.
“First, find out why you didn’t meet your 2023 resolutions,” says Kyle Enright, president of lending at Achieve, a digital personal finance company. “Often, people make resolutions that are too big or too many, like resolving to create and build an emergency fund, pay off debt and save a certain amount for retirement while losing weight and cutting down on coffee. This is too much for even the most enthusiastic person. “
Others may have made a resolution without backing it up with a realistic and flexible plan.
“For example, you might decide to create an emergency fund that covers at least six or nine months of basic expenses,” says Enright. “That can be overwhelming. Figure out a plan and start small, maybe save just $10 a week. If that goes well after a few months, you can increase the amount. “
In the end, adopting the right mindset is just as important as choosing the right tactics.
“It’s hard to make any change, and personal finance is no exception,” says Enright. “Accept that your resolution may not be easy. While this doesn’t mean you have to live in misery, sticking to financial resolutions often requires accepting some lifestyle changes, belt-tightening and commitment. “
Discover: How to Survive on $500 a Month: A Frugal Guide to Living
Give Your New Plan a Chance by Basing It on a Budget
Savings resolutions have something in common with those related to debt, spending, investing and any other part of the personal finance puzzle. If you can’t track your income and expenses, they all fail.
“Examine your budget and spending habits,” says Harvard-trained economist, policy expert and best-selling author of the “Holistic Wealth” book series Keisha Blair. “Are there any places you spend too much or ignore? Adjust your budget accordingly, reallocating resources to align with your financial goals. Consider creating a realistic budget that accommodates short-term needs and long-term aspirations.”
Get Accurate and Zero In
Plans that are too broad are the plans you are most likely to abandon because they feel too overwhelming. This year, take a hard look at your savings goals.
“If you didn’t meet your financial resolutions last year, it’s probably because you weren’t specific enough,” says Bethany Hickey, a personal finance expert and writer for Finder. “Be clear about your 2024 New Year’s resolutions. Instead of just saying you want to save more money, include in your resolution a plan to achieve that goal, such as ‘save $1,200 by 2024 by putting $50 per paycheck.’
Shopping Around for a Compounding Partner
You chose a good time to focus on saving money. While the highest interest rates in more than 20 years are not good news for anyone borrowing money from a bank, they can provide investment-level returns for those sending money in the other direction. .
Most large, brand-name banks with brick-and-mortar branches and a national or global presence continue to charge less for savings deposits. But some credit unions and online banks offer rates above 5% — and if you park your money in a CD, you can get yields closer to 6%.
It’s easier to compound your money in APY types than the 0.01% that giants like Bank of America still pay their savers. Take advantage before prices drop, which analysts expect in 2024.
Finally, hit the ground running by scooping up a New Year’s bonus. Some banks pay new customers up to $400 or thousands of airline miles for opening a savings account.
Pay For An Hour That Defines Your Year
Finally, even if you decide to save money, you can start by spending less on professional guidance. Creating a plan with a pro can give you the confidence and clarity you need to finish 2024 among the 9% who will see their goals become successes.
“Seeking advice from a financial advisor can provide a fresh perspective and renewed motivation,” says financial expert Josh Michaels, CEO and founder of Money4Loans.
Don’t worry. You are not cutting someone a percentage of the assets under management or paying for a retainer. According to Harness Wealth, the average financial advisor charges $120-$300 an hour, and that’s all it takes to put you on the path to a bulging savings account by 2024.
More From GOBankingRates
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Not Meeting Your Savings Resolutions in 2023? How to Come Back Without Regrets