Make — and Keep — Your 2018 Financial Resolution

Every year we make resolutions to change things in the new year, and 2018 won’t be any different. Well, it can be a little different. Most people give up on or just plain forget about their resolutions by March of each year — but you don’t have to be one of them.

At Dime, we want to help you make the most of your 2018 financial resolutions, so we put together some super easy steps you can follow to ensure you make — and keep — your financial resolution. Together, we’ve got this.

Make your resolution realistic

Sure, it sounds great to promise to save $50,000 this year, or to pay off your student loans, or to save enough for a down payment on your dream house. But if you don’t make enough to actually save $50,000, or you just graduated from college last year and you only make $35,000 a year, or if your dream house has a 7-figure price tag, your resolution is doomed from the beginning.

Take time to think about what you want to do and how you can do it realistically. If you want to save money, take a look at your current income, subtract your necessary costs, and see what is a reasonable amount of money to save. If you want to pay down your student loans, look at how much you’re going to owe this year and see if you can pay off an extra $5,000, or even just $1,000. That might be more reasonable. And if you want to buy your own place, meet with a mortgage lender to see what you can actually qualify for, and base your down payment goal on that.

Pick a realistic resolution. It’s a really good place to start.

Write it down

A lot of people forget what they promised to themselves because they never wrote it down. Get out a piece of paper and a big pen and write down your resolution in clear, block letters. Then put it somewhere you will see it Every. Single. Day. And we don’t mean write it on a sticky-note and let it get lost in a sea of other notes on your memo board or fridge.

Color it. Add glitter and sparkles. Frame it and hang it in your bathroom, by your front door, set it next to your computer on your desk. The more you are reminded of your goal, the more likely you are to keep it. And reach it.

Make it automatic

In today’s digital world, it’s super easy to set up automatic payments, transfers, and alerts to keep you on track. If you want to save a certain amount, set up your direct deposit to go directly into your savings account instead of your checking. Or you can set it up so the same amount gets transferred to your savings account every month. From saving for a down payment to saving for your kid’s college fund, this is a great and easy way to do it. Even if you can only afford $20 a month, that can turn into some serious cash with the right interest-earning account.

If you want to pay something off — like your student loans — make sure you have automatic payments set up so you don’t have to worry about remembering, and see if you can afford to spend more than the minimum monthly amount. Now you can pay it off faster and not even think about it. Look at you go!

Chat with your Dime representative about other ways to save

If you want to increase your retirement savings, we can help with that. At Dime, we have a number of great accounts and options that can help you save more, faster. From CDs and IRA accounts to our great Money Market Account, we have something that’s just right for you. Call 1-800-321-DIME (3463) today or stop by a branch to get started.

Reward yourself

If you follow these steps and you stick to your plan, you deserve a treat. Now, we’re not saying you should go out and buy a 70-inch flat screen tv after you’ve saved for a week. But if you can stick it out for three weeks or longer — the time it usually takes to develop a habit — then you deserve a small treat. Take yourself out to dinner. Buy that shirt you’ve had your eye on. If you give yourself a little treat every quarter or so, then you have another reason to keep with your goal.

You can even make your reward related to your resolution. If you want to save enough to take a cruise around the world, you can reward yourself by researching your vacation, or checking out the different ports of call. If you want to save for a house down payment, reward yourself by starting your online home hunt.
Those five steps don’t seem overly difficult, right? Imagine how great it’ll feel when your at the end of 2018 and you’ve already met your goal — or even surpassed it. We know you can do it. And Dime is here to help. Happy New Year from Dime!