When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, nearly one-third relate to money,1
with saving more, spending less and paying off debt typically ranking as the top three ambitions.2
People who make specific resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t.1
So why wait do they only get made around New Year’s? To put the odds in your favor, try these tips for financial success.
Make a Financial Plan
Start by putting your goals in writing and setting short-, mid- and long-term milestones to help you stay on track. As part of your plan, develop a budget or review the one you already have to make sure it accommodates your resolutions.
A recordkeeping system can help you keep tabs on your spending — which can help you stay on budget and on track to meet your goals. If you use Quicken financial software, you can make this task easier by linking to your Rabobank account (learn more here
). Be sure to review reports regularly to see where you stand. Having a dedicated space for storing paperwork — whether it’s on your computer or in a filing cabinet — can also help.
Spend Less to Save More
Sure, you’d like to increase your savings — but where will those extra funds come from? One solution: Cut back on spending. Start with non-essentials, like impulse buys or that daily caramel latte. Then review your monthly bills to spot other potential reductions. Next, look for ways to save on what you do need: Clip coupons, turn down the thermostat to reduce energy expenses, plan your grocery list around weekly sales and so on.
Keep track of what you save and put that money towards your savings goals. Using recurring transfers through Rabobank Online Banking or automatic contributions to your investment funds can help ensure the money gets safely tucked away before you have a chance to spend it.
You can also put your savings toward monthly debt payments. In some cases, it may make financial sense to use savings to pay off debt altogether. For instance, if you earn 1 percent on a money market account, but face 10 percent interest on a credit card, paying the card balance with the money market is like getting a 9 percent return. Once the debt is gone, take the money you would have put toward credit payments to rebuild your savings.
If you’re taking the month-by-month payment approach, be sure to pay more than the minimum each month. And, if you have multiple debts, prioritize them, focusing financial resources on getting one paid off at a time, starting with the highest interest-rate debt.
Know When You Need Help
Sometimes, all you need is a little friendly advice or the right banking solutions to fit your goals. Other times, you might need expert insights on building a financial strategy — or special assistance to manage debt and rebuild your credit history. Whatever you need, we can help. Just call or visit your local branch
for personal assistance.
Resources for Resolution Success
• Save money: We have a variety of savings solutions to fit your specific needs, with helpful features such as direct deposit and automatic transfers. Plus, it’s fast and easy for current customers to open new accounts online.
Learn more about Rabobank's savings solutions
• Stay organized: Our online and mobile banking options can help you stay connected to your accounts 24/7, no matter where you are. And that can help you keep tabs on your savings, your debt and your overall budget to make sure you’re staying on track to meet your goals.
Learn more about online banking
Learn more about mobile banking
• Personal assistance: Call (888) 945-6600 or visit your local branch for a one-on-one discussion.
- New Years Resolution Statistics, Statistic Brain, posted Dec. 13, 2012, http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/, accessed Sept. 13, 2013
- Fidelity® 2013 New Year Financial Resolutions Study, Fidelity Investments, https://www.fidelity.com/static/dcle/welcome/documents/resolutions-2013-executive-summary.pdf, accessed Oct. 4, 2013
The information contained in this article is intended for general educational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal, tax, or financial advice. Please consult with your own legal, tax or financial advisor for guidance with your own particular circumstances.