A recent survey found that the average consumer has a lot of plans for how to improve their financial situation when it comes to goals in the new year.
The top five resolutions reported for 2022 are:
- Putting more money into savings (37%),
- Sticking to a budget (27%),
- Enjoying more experiences (25%),
- Paying bills on time (22%), and
- Starting an emergency fund (22%).
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New Year, Same Old Financial Goals
Probably nothing on that list comes as much of a surprise. “Save more” has been the top resolution for basically forever.
So what’s the deal? Are the same people making the same resolution every year? And if so, why is that? Are we bad at saving or do we just always wish we had more?
The answer is probably somewhere in between and, as always, depends on your unique situation.
Whichever is true for you, we’re here to help you get started on that top resolution for 2022: save more money.
Step 1: Download Lasso
Lasso is a brand new, entirely free app that makes getting started easier than ever.
Sure, there are other financial apps out there that promise to help you get on track, but Lasso sets itself apart by simplifying your process of getting started down to two actions:
- Download Lasso
- Build a plan
Most savings apps require you to connect all of your financial accounts before you can implement their tools and start saving toward your goals.
The first step of saving more should not be to connect all of your accounts and confirm two-cent deposits—the first step of saving is to build a plan. So we removed that barrier to entry. Just download Lasso, open it up, choose a goal and build your first plan. From the time you hit “download” in the App Store, you could have your first plan within 60 seconds (okay, we have no control over how good your wifi is, so that might make it take longer).
Step 2: Figure Out What You’re Saving Toward
How much should you save? A good first step toward figuring that out is to first figure out what you’re saving for.
Do you need to build an emergency fund (priority #5 from the survey above)? If so, some very smart people have created some very smart ways of figuring out how much you need to save, which you can read about here.
Or are you saving toward retirement? Again, some very smart people have built very smart formulas to help you get started on that, too. Or maybe your goal is saving for a house or setting up a college fund for your kids.
If you have multiple goals, consider meeting with a financial advisor who can help you prioritize and build a plan that makes sense.
Step 3: Set a Realistic Goal for How Much You can Save by This Time Next Year
This is an easy one to get sidetracked on. Setting a realistic goal is key. It’s easy to say, “I want to save $12,000 next year,” but is that realistic? Can you cut $1,000 a month out of your budget and still get by?
If so, great! Go for it! But it’s important to think about the realistic impact of your decision first. The quickest way to fail when setting goals is to set one so hard that you give up completely when you realize how difficult it will be to achieve.
Look at your spending from the last year and note how many discretionary items you could pull back on or eliminate completely. Discretionary spending comes in many forms – the classic example is the $5 you spend on coffee a few times a week, but it can also be eating out, unnecessary subscriptions, or something else. Maybe you can keep all of those things, but move to a cheaper apartment and still save enough. (Here’s a great list with more ideas.)
However you get there, figure out how much money you can set aside every month and then multiply it by 12 and set that as your goal for next year.
And now the step that tends to be the most difficult…
Step 4: Stick to Your Plan
Yes, yes, yes, we all know that “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” But let’s ignore that reality for a moment.
Kate Moss once said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” However you feel about that statement (Kate isn’t too thrilled with it herself these days), we could repurpose it and say, “Nothing you purchase today will feel as good as hitting your saving goals next December.”
Let that be your mantra for 2022. Put it on a pillow. Make it a wall art quote in your living room.
Okay, maybe not wall art.
Just imagine yourself next December. What could you purchase between now and then that could be more important than making real progress toward your savings goals?
I’m willing to bet the answer is next to nothing.
Keep the picture in mind of you next December making your final deposit to hit your savings goal. Plan a way to treat yourself when you make it.
Whatever you have to do, do it! We’ll be here to cheer you on (and give you a few ideas along the way!).
Then, when the New Year comes around again, you won’t have to settle for the same old financial goals.