It’s that time of year again: The time to set all the New Year’s resolutions that you’ll say you’ll keep until 2018, but in reality you’ll abandon before the end of January 2017. Setting resolutions that you’ll actually keep is all about being realistic. Your goals shouldn’t seem like a far off horizon, but more like reaching across the table to grab some salt. In other words, if you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions, make them the kinds of things you can do without ever having to get off the couch. Here are some New Year’s money resolutions you can make and actually keep all year.
1. Cut your coffee...just a little
If you’re the kind of person who buys more than one cup a day, you’re the kind of person that could easily save at least an extra $20 a week. It doesn’t mean stop buying coffee all together -- it just means after you’ve bought your first, make the second and third ones you brew yourself at home or work. Or cash in on those free refills! It’s an instant, easy saving, and doesn’t mean giving up coffee entirely, which would be crazy.
2. Pledge to put a small amount of each paycheck into savings
Everyone tries to save some fairytale amount as part of their New Year’s resolutions. But what about just telling yourself that a minimum of $50 from every paycheck is going to savings? That way, you’ll always meet the minimum (even if you’re tight one month), and if you are in a position to put in more, it will feel like a great bonus.
3. Plan to lower your monthly bills
Start the New Year by auditing your bills. What do you pay for every month? A gym membership you never use? A subscription to something you barely look at? A phone plan you don’t need? Cut the fat, and you can start the new year feeling a little lighter, with a resolution that will see you through to next Christmas.
4. Ask for what you're worth
If you’re looking for a new job in the new year, or a deserved raise at your current job, go for it. This is the kind of realistic resolution you can stick to because it doesn’t involve you going any more out of your way than a small negotiation you’d be having anyway when signing a new job contract or renewing an old one. Nervous? Of course you are, but you'll be fine.
5. Don’t spend what you don't have
This is as easily said as done. Even if you have to cut up your credit card -- stop spending what you don’t have! It’s the best way to save money and keep yourself out of debt. Go into the new year with a promise not to live outside your means.