With each new year, millions of people make resolutions to improve their day-to-day lives, including how they handle money.
Within a few weeks, most of us quickly succumb to old bad habits.
But that is not true for everyone. Some people stick to their pledges and end the year in a better place than where they began it.
Recently, Fidelity Investments polled more than 3,000 adults as part of its “2023 Financial Resolutions Study.”
Fidelity asked participants to list the main reasons they successfully kept their financial resolutions during 2022. Following are the top answers they mentioned.
4. Making progress felt good
Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2022 resolutions: 24%
Here is one of the most basic, yet most overlooked, truths about building wealth: It’s fun.
Yes, scrimping and saving can be hard. But there is deep satisfaction in seizing control of your finances and watching your nest egg grow.
For more tips on getting rich, read about the “13 Smart Habits of Millionaires You Should Adopt.”
3. Goals were clear and specific
Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2022 resolutions: 25%
Deciding to “grow wealthier” during the year is nice. But being a little more specific — such as saying you want to save an extra $5,000 over the next 12 months — turns a dream into a goal.
And remember, the process of reaching your goal doesn’t have to be miserable. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson offers some pointers in “9 Tips to Tackle Your Financial Goals and Still Have Fun.”
2. Goals were realistic for the long term
Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2022 resolutions: 26%
Trying to save $1 million before you retire is a realistic goal for almost anybody, given enough time and a lot of determination.
Deciding that you someday want to become richer than Elon Musk is a bit more of a stretch.
When your goals are realistic, you are far more likely to stick with your plans and try to overcome the inevitable obstacles that will arise.
1. Motivated by their passion to reach goals
Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2022 resolutions: 27%
You’ve decided to chase a big money goal? Great.
Just know that it won’t be easy:
- Unexpected expenses inevitably will arise, sapping your ability to save for a while.
- Your investments will go south from time to time, pushing you further away from your goal, at least temporarily.
- Relationships might crumble, your health could face a setback or your job might disappear overnight.
Life is unpredictable, and there surely will be no shortage of hard times that will tempt you to fold your cards and give up on pursuing your money goal.
But those who simply keep going — who have an unshakable determination to reach their goal, no matter the difficulty — usually have a motivating passion that pushes them forward.