By: Stella Katsipoutis
You start off the new year with the best intentions ... Save more money. Pay off debt. Stick to a budget. Like a well-oiled machine, you’re ready and revved up to accomplish your financial goals, whatever they may be. But as time passes, certain pitfalls can throw a monkey wrench into your plans, causing them to quickly go up in smoke. Failed New Year’s resolutions can happen to anyone—in fact they happen to most—but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prevented. Here are the top five resolution mistakes to avoid now so you can keep your financial engines going all year long:
Setting Unreachable Goals
If you hold yourself up to unrealistic expectations, then it’s only a matter of time before you crash and burn. Start off with small, easy steps. Rather than saying, “I’m going to save money by never going out,” say, “I’m going to reduce my weekly recreational allowance by 25%.”
Not Being Specific Enough
Setting vague resolutions doesn’t give you a tangible goal to work toward, making it difficult to stay on course. Keep yourself accountable by being detailed with your ambitions. Don’t just generally state you’re going to spend less money this year. Commit to, say, cutting out one afternoon coffee run per week instead.
Forgetting to Track Progress
Monitoring your accomplishments won’t only keep you on the path to success; it’ll also give you inspiration to keep going. The “Manage Money” feature in VyStar Internet Banking has plenty of tools you can use to conveniently track your goals, including budget creation, month-to-month comparisons, daily alerts and more. For more information about how to use these features, click here.
Giving in to Impulses
Temptation is everywhere, and it’s one of the top culprits behind derailed resolutions. Avoid situations that might set you back when you’re trying to reach your financial goals. For example, if buying new clothes is one of your weaknesses, then skip your weekly trip to the mall and replace it with something fun and healthy, like a nature hike.
Putting Yourself Down
It’s not the end of the world if you slip up once in a while. Do not beat yourself up about it. Negativity will only drag you down, causing your mistake to snowball ... and your resolution to fall through. If you make an occasional blunder, stay positive. Tomorrow is a new day—and a new opportunity to start fresh!
If you need help managing your finances this year, don’t hesitate to stop by any VyStar branch and see a Money Makeover coach for a free financial assessment. You can also access some of our free and easy-to-use budgeting tools here.