2020 was a challenging year in many ways, but the bright side is that many people have developed strong, positive money habits that make a favorable impact on their financial future. And that’s got to count for something, right? You’re absolutely correct!
You’ve made a goal to get out of debt and you’ve taken the necessary steps to make it happen. That’s a game-changer. It takes tenacity, commitment and a positive “I Can Do It” attitude to make strides in developing new habits.
Now it’s just a matter of sticking with it. The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start to keep that momentum going. You’re on the right track, so now it’s time to stay the course with—and improve upon—what is working for you.
Tips for Staying Committed to Your Financial Health
Write down your specific goals. You’ve made great progress, but for most people, there might still be more to do. Our partners at GreenPath have some ideas for how you can refresh and stick to your goals:
Lay out how much debt you still have to pay off. Perhaps your financial situation has changed over the course of the last year. Have your finances taken a hit due to the ongoing pandemic? Or have you been making a more conscious effort to make solid financial decisions to pay off debt? Take a good look at where your finances stand and come up with a pay-off plan.
Revisit your monthly spending plan or budget. Perhaps you’ve paid off one credit card so you can devote more money to another. Take a fresh look at how much money you have to work with, what you need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can save from each paycheck to meet your other savings goals.
Ask yourself: “How will I accomplish my goals? How much time will I dedicate to achieving those results and how often? How will I set money aside?”
Give yourself deadlines and set mini goals along the way. It’s important to break your goal into smaller milestones. This makes it easier to see your progress. It’s also much less intimidating to reach for smaller attainable goals. Those smaller changes over time are often easier to achieve than trying to make a massive change all at once. But in the end, you’ve accomplished the major goal by hitting minor milestones along the way.
Be positive and realistic. Making sure your goals are realistic increases your chances for success. Goals can challenge you and help you grow into a new future and choosing a goal that’s attainable is an important part of success. Planning your budget each month can show you how much money you can devote to achieving your financial resolution.
Keep track of your progress. Researchers have noted that making a goal measurable will help it stick. Keeping track of your progress and watching your payoff balance shrink can help you stay focused and motivated. As you check off milestones and to-do’s, you will see your healthier financial future getting closer and closer and be even more inspired.
Celebrate milestones. Achieving a financial goal is cause for celebration. Take time to observe your successes along the way. Being your own cheerleader is actually a good way to reinforce your new habits, which in turn makes it easier to stay on track if you hit a bump in the road at some point.
You Can Do It
Finally, it can be helpful to remind yourself that you can do this, which is a message shared in a previous post by our friends at GreenPath.
Eliminating debt, learning new spending habits, and building your savings are choices that can change your life. They can affect your overall well-being by reducing stress levels.
The new year is a great time to refresh your goals, make new milestones, and commit to your financial health. Having a plan, using your resources, and keeping information at hand will help you succeed. You’ve already taken that important first step, so be sure to keep up with your new habits. And remember to stay positive—because 2021 will be even better.
For specifics on how a debt management plan can be a part of your new habits, request a call with GreenPath.