The end of each year is a fantastic time to reflect on how you’ve spent your time and money. Understanding what you’ve done well and what you’d like to improve on can help you start the new year with some kick-ass resolutions.
You may have some excellent resolutions in mind that will get you on the path to a healthier relationship with yourself and your money. Not to be a buzz-kill, but sometimes our resolutions are so big-picture that they keep us from actually achieving them.
It’s important to make resolutions you can keep. Every time you accomplish a goal, you can set a new one and conquer it as well. The more often you follow through with your resolutions, the more capable and proud of yourself you’ll feel.
When the new year comes, many of us have resolutions surrounding our finances. Whether you’d like to stop ordering tacos at midnight, finally buy your friend tickets to see Bruno Mars, or stop asking your parents for money, you’re going to have to set some financial resolutions.
You may have some big money goals this year, and we’d like to help you achieve them, so we’ve made a collection of financial resolutions that you can actually stick to.
#1 Stick To A Reasonable Budget
Okay, woah, woah, woah, don’t run from the word budget. This year, we will construct a budget that you can stick to, a reasonable budget.
A reasonable budget accounts for who you are and what you want. Your reasonable budget calls for outings with friends and moving into your first apartment.
There are many different kinds of budgets, and you need to find one that works for you. As you craft a reasonable budget, you’ll have to think about your short and long-term financial goals.
Would you like to pay off credit card debt, save money, or go on a vacation? All of your goals should start with a reasonable budget.
Cutting out coffee may seem unreasonable, in which case you’ll need to push back your move-out date. If cutting down on the amount of baklava you purchase each month sounds do-able, then you can move out a bit earlier.
Be reasonable with yourself. Don’t deprive yourself of the things that make you happiest, but don’t forget everything you’d like to achieve. Do some self-questioning, learn what’s genuinely reasonable to you, and then sculpt your budget.
#2 Take Baby Steps Towards The Future
You probably have some pretty big financial goals. A lot of the time, when we’re goal setting, we imagine some fantastic end-results; owning a car, a home, or even having a healthy amount saved for retirement.
It’s great to be thinking about the future and having high expectations for yourself, but it’s also important to set short-term financial goals that can help you get there. Take baby steps towards the future.
Some short-term financial goal examples you may want to consider are starting an emergency fund, building a credit history¹, or sticking to your monthly budget.
Starting an emergency fund can help you be prepared for, well, emergencies. Having a history of credit and an excellent credit score can help you earn a lower interest rate on a car or home. Sticking to your monthly budget will help you save for sweet, sweet retirement.
Take baby steps towards the future. It’s much easier to accomplish one goal at a time. A bit of thoughtfulness now can help you achieve a short-term goal, a mid-term goal, and ultimately your long-term goal.
#3 Build Your Credit Score¹
Something you can focus on this year and certainly achieve is improving your credit score. Having a healthy credit history¹ can help you avoid high-interest rates on student loans, purchase a home, and get better rates on insurance.
Building a credit history¹ may seem like a big resolution, but you can start working on one today. Credit card debt is scary, and it may seem unreasonable to you to stick to your budget with a line of credit at your fingertips.
A debit card that builds credit is the perfect solution. Extra was designed to be a debit card that gives you the best benefits of a credit card.
When you buy something on your Extra Card, they spot you for the purchase, then pay themselves back in the next business day. With zero interest and help with building credit, Extra may bring you one step closer to your next life goal.¹
Working on your credit history¹ requires a small amount of thoughtfulness now and has a big pay-off further down the road.
#4 Value Your Money
Valuing your money is spending it wisely— in a way that puts it to good use. Instead of cutting out morning coffees or trips to Six Flags, valuing your money means getting something more than coffee or a day at Six Flags for the same price.
Value your money by having it benefit you in multiple ways. Do your spending (according to your reasonable budget) with a card that will grant you extra perks.
Most turn to credit cards knowing that they can help you earn rewards or build your credit score¹, but this can threaten your goal of sticking to a budget.
To maximize your spending, you don’t have to use a credit card and risk your budget. An Extra debit card would be the perfect solution for those with resolutions to stick to their budgets and value their money.
Extra puts your everyday spending to use by giving you access to reward points and helping you build your credit.¹ Rather than spending your money on coffee and only getting a coffee, you can swipe your Extra card, get a coffee, and earn rewards while building credit.¹
#5 Use All Your Cents
Valuing your money is not only about maximizing it in rewards and credit score points but also valuing your change.
Many of us have a terrible habit of buying something in cash and throwing our change into the bottom of our pockets or bag. Pennies add up. If you’re doing some financial planning, consider every penny as a part of your plan.
Ten cents a day adds up to $36.50 per year. With $36.50, you can afford Hulu for half of the year. Basically, every cent counts.
Debit cards give you a clear picture of where your money’s going so you can feel confident spending every cent.
Instead of using cash and losing track of your spending or a credit card and spending outside of your budget, debit cards are a great tool to use when you want to stick to your financial resolutions.
#6 Soak Up All The Info
Some of our resolutions don’t have to be action-based. Being more financially aware is already a great start to the new year. You should already be proud of the fact that you’re seeking out financial resolutions.
Keep up the excellent work, and continue to gather as much information as you can. Learn more about credit checks, student loans, financial planning, IRAs, and 401ks. The more you know, the better prepared and capable you’ll feel.
Turn to credible financial advisors, blogs, and podcasts, and you won’t regret it. One of your financial resolutions can be to listen to one podcast or read one blog post a day.
Achieve Your Financial Resolutions
These may not be the kinds of financial resolutions you expected to come across today, but we hope they got you thinking. Let’s summarize:
- Stick to a reasonable budget: Think about what you want and what you’re willing to sacrifice, and then budget your spending.
- Take Baby Steps Towards The Future: Think about things you can start doing today that will help you achieve your short and long-term goals.
- Build Your Credit Score¹: Use a debit card that won’t risk your budget but will also build your credit.¹
- Value Your Money: Make sure that when you’re spending money, you’re getting the most out of it through reward points.¹
- Use All Your Cents: Avoid using cash and not putting your pennies to good use.
- Soak Up All The Info: Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and speak to others. Learn as much as you can about your finances and financial planning.
Start the new year with a fresh perspective, and feel as capable as ever in achieving your financial resolutions.