Making New Year’s resolutions is like hosting dinner parties…a good idea in theory, but harder than it seems. Estimates say 80 percent of us fail to stick to our resolutions (womp womp).
Gotchu. Set resolutions that really matter. Hint: ones that affect your wallet. Those are worth sticking to. So we teamed up with our friends at John Hancock to help you crush your 2020 financial resolutions.
Start by setting super specific goals
You’ve identified that you want to get your finances in shape. Go you. Now zero in on what that actually means. Because specific resolutions are more effective than big, wishy-washy ones.
Saving for a down payment? Looking to pay off a big chunk of your student loans? Hoping to beef up your emergency savings account? (PSA: it should be three to six months of your take-home pay.) You’re not made of money, and you can’t do it all at once. Pick one clear-cut goal. Write it down. And keep coming back to it throughout the year.
Automate, automate, automate
Automating your savings is the simplest way to consistently put money aside. Because it takes virtually no effort. It also saves you from yourself. Set an amount to be automatically taken from your checking account. Or have funds moved directly from your paycheck if that’s an option. (Like if you’re trying to max out your 401k.)
The same goes for paying down debt. Set up an auto-withdrawal for any loans or credit cards so you never miss a payment...a serious no-no.
Name your savings accounts
Instead of generic account names, get creative, emotional...and specific. Make your emergency savings fund your “Sh*t Happens” account. If you’re saving for a big purchase, spell it out. Naming your accounts will make the money feel real. You’re less likely to casually move funds from your “2020 Thailand Dream Trip” account to pay for those cool boots you saw window shopping.
Bring in your BFF...
You can count on each other for the latest group text gossip. And to keep each other accountable. A friend with a similar resolution can help support and motivate you when you’re feeling meh about the whole thing. Make it a friendly competition to kick things up a notch and keep it fun.
Bonus: you’ll have someone in your social circle who’s into finding ways to have fun without breaking the bank.
...or team up with a pro
A John Hancock financial advisor can help you hit your financial resolutions. Whether you’re struggling to set and measure goals, or you’re in need of some mid-year motivation. Think of it like a personal trainer for your wallet.
Counterintuitive? Maybe. But rewarding yourself when you hit financial milestones can keep you motivated through December.
Plan ahead. You don’t want to impulsively buy something that undoes all your good financial work. Plus, think about the excitement you feel when you know something fun is just around the corner. Is there a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try? A top you’ve been eyeing? Go for it. Then keep going.
Sticking to resolutions is hard. It’s also doable. (We swear.) With a bit of strategy — and a qualified financial advisor — you can crush your goals. Start planning for your future with John Hancock today. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...you actually did it.
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