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3 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals This New Year

Young man pausing from using his laptop to look at a calendar.

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For many people, a new year is a time for growth. It's also a popular time to make resolutions. Research from The Ascent shows that 67% of Americans hope to tackle financial resolutions next year. Now is the perfect time to sit down and plan what goals you want to reach. You can do it no matter how big or small your goals are. Here are some tips to help you achieve your financial goals in 2024.

1. Define clear goals

As you outline your financial goals for 2024, make sure they're clear and specific. Being clear about what you hope to achieve can help you stay focused on the goal. Doing this can also make it easier to develop a roadmap to get there so you're successful by year-end. It can also reduce the chance of you making excuses or giving up halfway through your journey.

Here's an example:

Let's imagine you want to boost your emergency fund savings. That goal alone is not enough. You have a general idea of what you hope to achieve, but it's not specific enough. If you instead set a goal to increase your emergency fund balance by $3,000, that's clearer.

Now, you can look at the bigger goal and determine what steps you need to take to get there. If you want to save an extra $3,000 by the end of 2024, you can make it happen by transferring $250 to your savings account each month.

See how being specific and clear can help? I encourage you to give it a try as you set goals.

2. Track your progress

Another way you can set yourself up for success as you work to achieve your financial goals is by tracking your progress. When life gets busy and times get tough, it can be easy to feel discouraged. Tracking your progress can help you stay motivated during those moments. It can better illustrate how much closer you are to reaching your goals.

One option is to use financial apps to monitor your progress. If you want to completely eliminate your credit card debt, debt payoff apps can show your progress. For those hoping to reduce their spending by $300 a month (remember, specific goals are ideal), one of the best budgeting apps can help. Don't ignore tools like this that can help you stay on track.

Another option is to track your progress the old-school way -- with pen and paper. You can have fun using colorful markers and creating charts and graphs. You can even get some silly stickers to add to your progress records. Every so often, look at your progress charts and notes to remind yourself how far you've come. It's easy to forget how much work you've put in.

3. Don't deprive yourself

Treat yourself with kindness as you work to make your financial resolutions a reality. Thank yourself for investing in your future and putting in the extra effort, even when times get tough. Reward yourself for sticking to your goals. You deserve the recognition for your efforts.

One final tip: Don't deprive yourself. You work hard for your money. You will burn out, feel discouraged, and lack motivation if you put every cent you earn toward your financial goals, whether that's an investing, saving, or debt payoff goal. Allocate some of your money toward things that bring you joy. You have to take care of yourself first if you want to change your life.

Now is the time to set new resolutions

There is still time to establish financial resolutions for the new year. But don't delay much further. The busy holiday season is upon us, and you want to be ready to tackle your goals as soon as 2024 is here. I believe in you. For more guidance, check out our personal finance resources.

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We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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