As we step into the new year, let’s face the facts: keeping New Year’s resolutions is tough. According to the Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, a mere 9% stick to their goals.
Sadly, for the majority, the journey is short-lived — 23% throw in the towel within a week, and a whopping 43% surrender before January bids farewell.
So, if you have money goals for 2024, be prepared for the challenge ahead.
Boosting your chances of success in money goals for 2024 is within reach if you pick a resolution with staying power.
Opt for a goal that stands a good chance of lasting through the initial month, as crossing into February provides the momentum essential for lasting change and a positive shift in your financial life.
Lasting Money Goals For 2024 Requires Precision
Hope Ware, founder of Under the Median, warns that resolving to save more money is a common yet ineffective goal. She emphasizes its lack of specificity, highlighting that even if you manage to set aside a few dollars, reverting to previous spending patterns is likely.
Choosing resolutions with clearer targets might be key to achieving lasting financial changes.
Back in 1988, Hope Ware and her husband found themselves broke, in debt, and living paycheck to paycheck. Despite resolving to save money, six months later, they spent every penny they had saved.
Reflecting on the experience, Ware coined it the ‘big green pile of cash’ mistake. The money lacked a specific purpose, and without designated goals like ‘car replacement’ or ‘Christmas gifts,’ it became an open invitation to spend.
Ware’s valuable lesson in making money goals for 2024 is crystal clear: specificity is key. Rather than a vague goal like “saving money,” she advises defining a precise target, such as “saving $2,500 for a family vacation to the Smoky Mountains in September 2024.”
Adding a time element and a specific aim increases the likelihood of staying committed and successfully achieving your financial resolutions.
Sustainable Strategies for Lasting Financial Success
Similar to weight loss resolutions, radical financial diets, aiming for drastic results in a short period, seldom withstand the test of time. Sustainable and gradual approaches can prove more effective in achieving lasting money goals for 2024.
Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit Debt Consolidation, warns that attempting extreme changes in budgeting or embracing major frugality is often a recipe for disaster in the initial month. Gradual and realistic adjustments tend to yield better outcomes in managing finances successfully.
Highlighting the potential pitfalls, Credit Summit Debt Consolidation’s CEO, Carter Seuthe, advises against diving too aggressively into resolutions like saving money or paying off debt.
Going too hard or fast can lead to overwhelm and demoralization, increasing the risk of abandoning the budget altogether.
Seuthe suggests a balanced approach – crafting a budget that prioritizes savings or debt repayment while allowing room for flexibility in discretionary spending and enjoyment.
Endurance Over Quick Fixes
Just as in weight loss, the key to getting your finances in shape lies in making healthy lifestyle adjustments with a focus on long-term endurance. Consistent, sustainable efforts tend to yield more successful and lasting results.
Melanie Musson, a finance expert with Clearsurance, points out that saving substantial amounts, like $1,000, may seem challenging initially.
She suggests a gradual approach, acknowledging that most people likely worked up to that point. Starting with a manageable amount and progressively increasing your savings each month is a more practical and achievable strategy.
Aligning Goals for Financial Success
Achieving personal resolutions is challenging without aligning goals, plans, and strategies with household members. Establishing shared objectives and coordinated efforts within the group enhances the likelihood of sustained success.
Yiannis Zourmpanos, a chartered certified accountant and senior contributor at Bountii, emphasizes the importance of agreement within households.
According to him, a lack of consensus on priorities, such as saving for the kids versus dining out, introduces ambiguity that can compromise even the best-intentioned goals. Alignment on what truly matters is crucial for successful financial resolutions.
Social Support Helps Boosting Financial Resolution Success
While coordinating with your partner and family is crucial, extending your goal-sharing to friends, co-workers, and your broader circle enhances your chances of success.
The support and encouragement from others during challenging times can make a significant difference, potentially determining whether you achieve long-term success or face early setbacks.
Balancing Pleasure and Money Goals in 2024
January often sees people cutting expenses, especially on items that bring pleasure. However, resolutions that drain the joy from life are the ones likely to fizzle out before February arrives.
Balancing money goals for 2024 with enjoyment increases the likelihood of sustainable resolutions.
Financial educator Andrea Belzer warns against misguided money resolutions, defining them as changes in habits or behaviors that are too drastic and lack a proper plan.
A balanced and thought-out approach is essential for resolutions to have a lasting and positive impact on one’s financial well-being.