There is always an added sense of motivation and goal setting at the start of a new year. Many people set out to accomplish a big feat, to improve in a certain area, or quit a bad tendency all to end up with an incomplete goal by the end of the month. So how do you make a financial resolution to ensure it doesn’t fizzle out within a couple of weeks?  

You make your financial resolution a habit!

Think of it this way: if your financial resolution is to pay off the remaining $20,000 on a car payment, make a habit of saving and paying by rewarding yourself whenever you do. Now, you mustn’t monetarily reward yourself (otherwise, your financial resolution will not be adequately supported). Find something you enjoy doing that you don’t get to regularly do. This might be getting the guys together for a watch party, taking an evening to yourself with wine and a bubble bath, or possibly going to your favorite bookstore to cozy up with a good book! Whatever your reward is treat yourself to it almost instantly after you make your car payment; this gives you nearly instant satisfaction in completing your newly-established financial habits.  

What if I’m just working toward saving & not paying anything off?

Put the same practice in place, but instead of rewarding yourself whenever you make a payment, reward yourself whenever you transfer money into your savings! Do you have a guilty-pleasure TV show you love binge-watching? Challenge yourself to only watch an episode when you make a transfer into your savings. After getting into the rhythm of paying before watching, adding funds to your savings will slowly become a habit!  

I’ve tried, but it’s just too hard.

Forming any habit is going to be an upward battle. Starting a new process will inevitably bring a challenge, however, committing to creating a habit based on a reward system will help instill a habit that you want to keep.