According to Nielsen, 84% of us made New Year's resolutions, and 29% of us made a resolution to spend less and save more.
Good on you if that was one of your resolutions!
Unfortunately, only 8% of us will stick to our resolutions long enough to have them create a positive change.
Why do so few people see them through? Because we set ourselves up for failure!
Do you want to set yourself up for success and see your resolution through in as little as 45 seconds a day? (Cue infomercial jingle.) I can show you. No seriously. 45 seconds a day.
First let's adjust your resolution a bit.
The experts say goals should be:
- Ambitious, but achievable
- Related to behavior, not results
Spending less and saving more is certainly related to behavior, but it's not specific. And since it's not specific who knows if it's ambitious?
Rather than "save more," change your resolution to "save 2% more of every paycheck" because it's:
- Specific - 2% of every paycheck
- Ambitious - if you're like most people and only contributing 6% to your 401k, you'll increase your annual savings by 33%!
- Related to behavior - in this case you're actually putting the behavior on autopilot.
Easy enough, right? If you agree, then bump up your 401k contributions by 2% today. Like right now. While you're thinking about it. Go ahead, I'll wait….
Spending less is trickier because you can't put it on autopilot. The first step is to understand that you can't improve what you don't measure.
So let's toss out "spending less" as a goal this year. Let's replace it with "I will track my spending this year."
That's the 45 seconds part. With account aggregator technology like Mint.com and your Financial Zen Client Portal, you can stay on top of your spending with just 45 seconds a day.
No joke - I eat my own cooking. I spend 45 seconds each morning logging into my Financial Zen Client Portal to look at my spending. I can tell you exactly how much money I spent and where I spent it last month.
Next week, I'll show you how.