“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.” -Benjamin Franklin.
The first of the year brings both the promise of new beginnings and the burden of self-improvement. Fueled by the nostalgia of the holidays and armed with a year’s worth of regrets, some 45% of Americans decide to make New Year’s resolutions each January, according to research from the University of Scranton.
We all certainly have our fair share of vices, especially as they relate to money. So it’s unsurprising that financially-themed resolutions are among the most popular made each new year. But the fact that less than 10% of resolution-makers achieve their goals is not a good sign for hopes of improved money management.
Don’t be discouraged, though. WalletHub has your back. Below, you will find a list of the top 10 financial resolutions to make in 2018, along with some helpful tips for making sure they happen. Now, we know it's no longer January, however, making changes in your financial life can happen at any point in the year. Seeing that we are all working on taxes and potentially receiving income tax refund checks, this is the best time to kick-start your year of financial freedom.
The fact that we closed 2017 with more than $1 trillion in credit card debt is a bit less surprising when you consider that only about 40% of adults have a budget, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Both statistics also signal the need for greater urgency on our part. In short, missed payments and credit score damage are in our future if we don’t cut back, which requires re-thinking how we allocate our money.The best way to make a budget is to gather your bills from the past few months and make a list of all your recurring expenses. Then rank them in order of importance, with true necessities such as housing, food, and healthcare obviously taking the top spots. After that, you can simply cut from the bottom of your list until your take-home exceeds what you plan to spend. Finally, keep track of your monthly spending throughout the year to make sure you’re abiding by your budget.