How many Americans are making financial resolutions this year? According to brokerage firm Fidelity Investments, the number is surprisingly large.
In preparation for the new year in 2023, around two in three Americans are making financial resolutions. While this is not the highest number in history by any means, it remains a strong indication of how Americans are feeling about money after several difficult years.
The problem is that many people make financial goals and resolutions without much forethought – and fail to follow through successfully. This can actually do more harm than good, leaving families in worse financial shape than they were before they made the resolution in the first place.
If you are interested in making better financial choices this year – and making this the first year you successfully keep your new year’s resolution – a little planning and commitment can go a long way. Here is more of what you need to know to plan for success:
There are many reasons why there is a high rate of financial resolutions this year. One needs only to take a look at the last few years to see why American families are being more cautious with money.
2020 reset many people’s finances entirely. There were shutdowns. Layoffs. Reductions in wages, unforeseen expenses, and many other factors left American families struggling to make ends meet. Because of this, financial goals were set aside in favor of simply surviving the unprecedented times.
In the years that followed, the economy was slow to recover. Likewise, many people found that they were still wary of making any major financial goals. For most, the resolutions that they did make involved avoiding unnecessary spending and keeping their bills paid.
This could not last forever, though. As people slowly got back on their feet financially, they needed to make plans for the future. Retirement, college, travel, and other major expenses still needed to be saved for – and everyday expenses still needed to be covered in the meantime.
This is why the last twelve months have seen such a major boost in the creation of financial goals and resolutions – and why 2023 is likely to see that pattern continue throughout the year.
Unfortunately, financial resolutions are like most other goals set in the first days of the year – they are often doomed to fail.
Because people often make their resolutions flippantly as part of holiday celebrations, these resolutions may fail to follow them into the new year. Declaring your intentions to save money in the coming year is easy when you are in good spirits and the new year is an intangible future. It is much harder to actually do in the small decisions made every day.
Life happens. Unexpected expenses occur. Prices rise. Medical issues, home or auto repairs, and necessary travel can all throw a wrench in plans to save money. But so too can the need for groceries, gas, and other everyday expenses that you might not account for in the heady final days of the year when you make a resolution. This is exactly why so many people find themselves falling short of their financial resolutions quickly within the new year.
Sadly, when this failure happens many people give up.
So, how can you make this the year that you keep your financial resolutions? Are there ways to sidestep the problems that cause many people to fail at achieving these goals?
It all comes down to better planning, stronger commitment, and making more manageable goals.
First, plan for success. Far too many people charge into a money-related resolution with wild abandon – and absolutely no plan. It is easy to decide that you want to save money and pay down debt. It is much harder to actually do it, especially if you have no action plan.
Second, it is important to understand what is required – and be willing to commit to that change. Just as planning is important, managing expectations for your goal is crucial. While you can envision yourself keeping more money in your accounts, it is much harder to do so in the face of temptation and unexpected expenses. Knowing what is likely to happen and how you should respond are two important elements of success.
Likewise, being willing to follow through is important. If you cannot stay focused on your goals and keep them at the forefront of your everyday life, you are not likely to achieve them. You have to be willing to make changes and sacrifices along the way. That is where many people fall short or fail.
Lastly, your goals should be manageable. There are many life coaches who instruct their clients to make “bite-sized” goals because far too many people bite off more than they can chew when it comes to making positive change. Instead of saving thousands a month, begin with making a goal to save a smaller amount weekly. This way, you can feel successful right away and bolster your focus and drive to continue working toward your goal.
Making changes to the way you manage money can be difficult. However, when done properly it can be a change that stays with you for the rest of your life – and continues to pay off for you far into the future!
If you are ready to make 2023 the year that you finally keep your financial resolutions, talk to the experienced team at the Van Horn Law Group. Whether you are struggling to save or dealing with debt that has gotten out of control, you can trust our knowledgeable legal team to help you make sense of the best path forward in the new year. Whether you are moving toward a step like bankruptcy or simply trying to keep more money in your pocket, we can guide you through making the best possible plan.
Ready to learn more? Contact the Van Horn Law Group today!
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