4 Simple Financial Resolutions for the New Year

January 1st shouldn’t just bring a new year, it should bring a new you! Resolutions have always been a part of New Year’s celebrations, but sometimes we get a little too ambitious with our goals. The most effective resolutions are the simplest; they ease us into new habits that we can continue to build upon throughout the year.

If you’re looking to improve your finances in 2015, I have a couple of simple and attainable resolutions that can help you get started in the right direction towards financial stability:

1. Track Your Expenses

A huge part of staying financially fit, tracking your expenses is the first step towards developing a budget. Get started by just setting time aside every week to review your bank statements and credit card transactions. Take note of where your money is going each week and identify your non-essential purchases (eating out, luxury items, etc). Once you see how much money you’re throwing away each week on frivolous purchases, you’ll find the inspiration to develop a more comprehensive budget.

2. Save for Something. Anything.

Learning to appreciate the value of saving is pivotal in ensuring good financial health. So whether you start saving for retirement or a new TV in 2015, you’ll be taking the first step in developing a good financial habit. Setting up a saving plan also forces you to ask yourself important financial questions about your future goals. Are you going to want a house in the future? When would you like to retire? Do you have enough money to support yourself if you’re laid off? The sooner you know the answers to these questions, the sooner you can put yourself on the road to financial stability.

3. Get Your Credit Cards Under Control

Credit cards, while incredibly helpful tools, can become a massive burden if handled poorly. Bad credit card management can lead to overwhelming amounts of debt, a low credit score and so much more. Take some time in 2015 to evaluate your credit card situation. Did you wrack up a ton of credit card debt in 2014? Set up a payment plan for yourself and make sure you don’t miss a due date. Do you have an abundance of retail cards in your wallet? Start weeding out the cards you barely use and, if necessary, replace them with a card that has a lower interest rate or more versatile rewards.

4. Read an Article on Personal Finance Every Day

Knowledge is power, so the more you learn about personal finance, the better off you’ll be! Make it a goal to read a personal finance blog or article while you have your morning coffee or right before you go on your lunch break. Not only will you find helpful advice, but reading everyday will help keep your finances on your mind.

My personal philosophy with New Year’s resolutions is it’s best to start off simple. Set a small, achievable goal, and ride the positive feelings of success throughout the year. Once you’ve paid off that one credit card or set up a savings plan for that one item, you’ll feel compelled to continue, perhaps even do more! Resolutions shouldn’t be massively wild changes in your lifestyle, they should be minor tweaks that will, in the long run, help to adjust your entire approach to life.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

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