How to Create and Keep a Financial New Year’s Resolution

Nonprofit credit counseling agency Take Charge America helps
consumers establish realistic financial goals and identify steps to
achieve goals

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nonprofit credit counseling agency Take Charge America offers consumers
tips for creating and maintaining a financial New Year’s resolution.

It’s that time of year again – millions of Americans are setting
resolutions to better themselves in the New Year. For many, that
includes a brighter financial future.

Whether eliminating debt, saving or investing, financial resolutions can
be difficult to keep without a coordinated effort, says Mike Sullivan,
spokesperson, Take Charge America, a national
nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency
. “While it’s
very commonplace to create a resolution, few people actually follow
through. When it comes to improvements in your personal finances
especially, you need a plan, automation and accountability.”

Sullivan offers five tips to help consumers create a financial New
Year’s resolution – and keep it:

  • Define a Specific Goal – It’s important to clearly define your
    financial goal and outline the steps you must take to get there. “Get
    out of debt” or “save more money” are simply too broad. You are much
    more likely to hold yourself accountable with a realistic and
    attainable goal in mind, like “save $100 from each paycheck” or “pay
    off $200 in credit card debt every month.”
  • Make an Ongoing, Automatic Commitment – Look for tools or
    avenues to automatically take steps to achieve your goal. For
    instance, if your goal is to add $10,000 to your emergency fund,
    consider adding another payroll deduction into your savings account.
    Or, if retirement is on your mind, increase the amount you
    automatically contribute to your 401(k) or IRA.
  • Get Creative with Paying Off Debt – If you are trying to
    eliminate debt, look at opportunities beyond your regular monthly
    payments. Consider consolidating your high interest credit card debt
    into a fixed personal loan, or entering into a debt management plan
    with a nonprofit agency. You can also reevaluate student loan
    repayment options to find out if you’re in the best plan for your
    personal situation.
  • Reevaluate Your Monthly Bills – There may be easy ways to save
    more money without generating additional income or adjusting your
    daily spending habits. Take a good look at your monthly bills to see
    what you can eliminate or reduce. For instance, you can get new quotes
    for auto insurance, refinance your home mortgage to a lower APR,
    eliminate premium cable services and decide if that gym membership is
    really worth it.
  • Track Your Progress – You’re much more likely to accomplish
    your goals if you establish timelines and milestones. You can even
    find a way to reward yourself for each milestone you accomplish. Also,
    tell close friends or family members about your goals so you have some
    outside accountability.

For more financial tips, visit the Take
Charge America Financial Education Library

About Take Charge America, Inc.

Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a nonprofit agency
offering financial education and counseling services including credit
counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling
and bankruptcy counseling. It has helped more than 1.6 million consumers
nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more,
or call (888) 822-9193.


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Andrea Aker, 602-339-7339