While it’s easy to make a resolution, keeping one is often difficult. 

Research by U.S. News & World Report suggests that 80% of all New Year's resolutions already fail by February. While a study from the University of Scranton found that only 8% of all resolutions are actually achieved.

For those who plan to make a financial resolution for 2021, we want to help you buck the trend and achieve your goal with these 5 tips.

Make your financial goal realistic

Don’t set yourself up for failure from the get-go. The easier and more realistic the goal, the more likely it is you are to achieve it. 

Crunch the numbers. Make sure your goal is achievable without making drastic financial moves. Don’t forget to take the unexpected and unforeseen into consideration. This will help you avoid taking unnecessary risks that can do more harm than good.

Set a specific goal

Setting goals that are specific and easy to track will be easier to reach because you will actually be able to see the progress you are making.

“Save more money” is too vague. Make it a specific dollar amount or find something specific you’re saving for. That way you can actually track progress through the year.

“Spend less money” is too vague as well. Look at where you can cut back and make those specific items the goal. For example” “spend $100 less on eating out each month” or “restrict clothing expenses to $200 a month”.  If you know how much you normally spend, you can set specific dollar allowances for those items.

Automate where you can

We all have a lot on our minds. Make reaching your goal as easy as possible without having to think about it constantly.

Have automatic savings withdrawn from every paycheck. Set automatic bill-pay so you don’t miss any of them. Look for apps or banking programs that round-up purchases and automatically move the extra change into a savings account (link to Kasasa accounts).

Wherever you can make things automatic, do it!

Reward yourself along the way

A year is a LONG time. Especially when it comes to doing something difficult. There are going to be ups and downs along the way, so when you reach small goals it’s good to reward yourself.

Buy yourself a coffee or eat out for lunch instead of packing a sandwich.

Obviously, don’t go overboard. Your reward shouldn’t set you back. But we all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then. Giving yourself a reward for a job well done along the way, is a good way to keep yourself motivated and on track.

Don’t do it alone

Sometimes it’s really helpful to have someone around that can help hold us accountable for our actions.

Find an accountability partner who is also making financial resolutions, or just someone you can trust to help hold you accountable. You can even be that person for someone else.

It’s always easier to achieve a goal with a little help.