If you’re desperate for some positive changes in your financial situation, here are seven personal finance resolution ideas. If you aim to accomplish just one or two, you’ll be surprised by how much your finances improve.
1. Save $1,000.
It’s extremely important to have an emergency fund, in case a major life event occurs, but less than 40% of Americans actually have at least one thousand dollars in savings. This might seem like an intimidating goal, but if you break it down a bit, it’s not scary at all. By saving a mere $83/month, you’ll have one thousand dollars in savings by the end of the year.
2. Put money into retirement.
Your retirement is getting closer every year. However, 78% of Americans admit they’re extremely concerned about not having enough money for retirement. There’s only one way to fix that. Start saving! No amount is too small. If you haven’t saved anything yet, open an account this year, put some money into it, and begin funneling a percentage of your income toward it each month.
3. Ban all shopping for two weeks.
Pick the dates, mark your calendar, and only spend money on necessary groceries for two full weeks. This is a great way to analyze and change how you spend your money. You’ll learn more about your habits, rethink your consumption tendencies, and save some cash along the way.
4. Sell $250 worth of clutter.
If you’re interested in turning your unwanted stuff into cash, this is a great way to do it. You probably have a decent amount of clutter in your home, and you can use apps like OfferUp and Craigslist to sell belongings you no longer need.
5. If you’re a two-income family, save one spouses’ entire salary.
This goal might take some major planning and dedication, but the payoff is worth it. If it’s feasible for the two of you to live on just one salary, do it. And while you’re living frugally and sticking to a tight budget, save the other spouses’ entire salary. By the end of the year, you’ll have a major chunk of cash in savings.
6. Make a budget.
No more excuses. No more stalling. Friends, family, and mentors have been telling you to make a budget for years, and you’ve always put it off. This is the year to actually do it! There are several different budget styles, so find one that works for you and stick to it.
7. Invest money in the stock market.
With new, simple apps like Robin Hood, there’s no reason you shouldn’t invest money in the stock market. You’ll learn a lot along the way, and you’ll likely grow your money in the process.