10 New Year's Financial Resolutions for 2024

new years financial resolutions
Dec 7, 2023 last_updated min_read

The New Year’s just around the corner, promising a fresh start. And with each New Year comes ambition and inspiration to improve your life. That's why 41% of Americans set at least one New Year's resolution yearly. 

However, only 9% of these people kept their promises to themselves. Honeygain is here to help you set goals for the New Year, stay consistent, and reach them!

From advice on how to set resolutions correctly to our advice on the best New Year's financial resolutions, this blog post is a one-stop shop for all the New Year's resolutions!

Why Set a Financial Resolution?

Figuring out how to best maintain your personal finances is a struggle for many people. And just like with other shortcomings in our lives, many promise themselves that they'll figure it out next year.

From saving money to fixing your financial situation altogether, each January gifts you an opportunity to control your financial life. The only way to reach your financial goals is to set up a plan and stick to it, and there's no better starting point than January 1st.

S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s Resolutions

People love to set goals, and setting objectives can result in meaningful change, from quitting smoking and becoming sober to getting fit or spending less money. But sticking to goals is often much more challenging than simply planning them. 

That's why you should set S.M.A.R.T. resolutions. Psychology experts admit that your resolutions should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related  (S.M.A.R.T.). Specific goals include "save $1,000" instead of "save a lot of money." 

The goals have to be meaningful to you, making them relevant. You probably know that promising yourself to read 100 books per year is unrealistic. Instead, set yourself a goal to read a book each month. This will make your goal achievable.

Time-related goals mean you won't promise yourself to pay off your credit card debt entirely by next year. Instead, you'll pay off a little each month, tackling your debt in small, timely steps.

new years resolutions

Benefits of Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Ask yourself this question – how will your life and financial health improve if you stick to your money goals? Will you reach financial success, hit a savings goal, or boost your net worth?

Your particular money-related resolutions depend on your individual circumstances, so only you can decide what goals to set and how to tackle the money part of your life. Here are some of the most common money-related resolutions.

Most Common Money-Related Resolutions

A 2022 survey found that 50% of Americans set financial New Year's resolutions.

  • 57% want to save money in their savings account or an emergency fund.
  • 48% plan to track their spending more carefully.
  • 43% wish to cut monthly costs.
  • 42% want to reduce spending on non-essential items.
  • 40% plan to pay off their debts (student loans, auto loans, or credit cards).

Where Should You Start With Your Financial Goals?

We've discussed how your goals should be specific, relevant, achievable, and time-related. But how do you pick goals that fit your financial circumstances out of the many money-related goals? Here are a few tips.

Evaluate Your Financial Well-Being

First and foremost, we encourage you to do the thing we all dread – open up your bank account and examine your bank statements. Do you have a budget? Where does most of your everyday spending go? 

Checking your financial wellness and admitting your problem areas is the only way forward!

Improve Your Financial Literacy

They say ignorance is bliss. But that's not true when it comes to finances. If you think you need more knowledge of money, we encourage you to learn more. Do you want to invest but need to figure out how? Learn about it! Do you want to figure out the best budget for your life? Google it!

Reach Out to a Financial Advisor

It's not shameful to admit that you need help with money – not everyone was taught these things when they were young. Whether you want some general advice or need help navigating retirement accounts or life insurance policies, reaching out to financial experts is a good idea.

Top 10 Financial Resolutions for 2024

The resolutions you choose are up to you. We're here to offer some ideas to those struggling with deciding where to start. From opening a savings account to figuring out retirement accounts, here are our picks for the top ten finance resolutions.

Open a Savings Account

A savings account is different from your everyday spending account. The money in your money-saving account earns interest over time, meaning the money you put into this account will grow without you so much as lifting a finger.

Look into different banks offering saving accounts with different interest rates and determine which is best for you. There are some places where you can open an account with $0, while others require a minimum deposit of money.

When choosing between different account options, the Annual Percent Yield (APY) describes how much you'll earn in interest rates annually. This amount will typically be added to your account once a month.

Create a Budget

This one's pretty basic. The best way to keep track of your money is to know where it's coming from, how much money is coming, and where it goes. Take a deep dive into your checking account – the one you use for day-to-day purchases – and split the money you spend into categories.

The next thing you should do is determine what percentage of your money goes to which category – housing (rent or mortgage), food and drinks (both home cooking and eating out), entertainment (subscriptions, going out, shopping), transportation (public transport, gas for your car, Ubers).

You know yourself best, so only you can determine the percentage of your paycheck you're willing to spend in each category. However, if you're looking for inspiration, keep reading because soon, we'll review the popular 20-30-50 budgeting rule.

Build an Emergency Fund

Experts say you should have at least six months of income for your emergency fund. Emergency savings will be your saving grace if something unexpected happens – your car breaks down, you experience job loss, your pet gets sick, you need to replace your phone, or anything else.

The easiest way to build an emergency fund is to be thrifty with your money and put it into a separate bank account. The most important thing about an emergency account is to withdraw money from it only in the event of an actual emergency.

You wanting pizza a few days before payday isn't an emergency, as much as it would feel otherwise. If you spend your emergency fund on everyday expenses, you'll have nowhere to turn if an emergency happens. 

Check out Morgan Stanley's guide if you want more advice about generating money for an emergency.

Set Up Automatic Transfers

Have you ever forgotten to pay for gas, water, or rent? Make your life easier by automating your personal finances with automated bank transfers. This way, your account will automatically take out what you owe for heating, water, your phone bill, or rent.

You'll never be late on a bill if you set up automatic payments. And if you have a credit card and want to pay off your debt, having automatic payments for your credit card is a great idea to keep that credit report spotless!

The bank you're a member of will automatically send money from your banking account into the account of a company you owe money to, like a credit card company or a utility company.

Buy Life Insurance

Buying life insurance protects your spouse and children from the devastating financial losses that could occur if something terrible happened to you. 

Life insurance offers financial security, helps your family pay off any debt you might've had, and helps to pay any medical or final expenses.

Your insurance policy will deliver a specified sum of money when you need it. After you die, your family will receive your policy payout instantly. And that money won't get taxed. For example, a $300,000 policy provides $300,000 in death benefit proceeds directly to your beneficiary.

We know all of this death talk is kind of grim, but the financial security of you and your family is too important not to mention it.

Try to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

Using credit cards regularly is a great way to build your credit history and enjoy the rewards and benefits of having a credit card. However, overspending and unexpected financial challenges can result in a heap of credit card debt.

According to the data of Experian, one of the biggest credit bureaus, U.S. consumers have $6,365 in credit card debt as of the second quarter of 2023. The first thing you should do if you're thinking about paying off your debt is to get a total number of how much money you owe.

Once you have a concrete number to work with, there are a few strategies you can choose from. The debt snowball method is an accelerated payoff strategy that can spare you time and money. It's best for people who have trouble maintaining motivation and enjoy quick wins.

The debt avalanche method focuses on paying off accounts one by one. The difference is that the avalanche method prioritizes paying off bills with higher interest rates. This method will help you maintain your savings because the interest charges on your credit cards won't be collected.

Don’t Forget About Your Credit Report

Paying off credit card debt goes hand in hand with improving your credit score, and if you’re looking for an accurate tool to monitor your credit score, do some online research for the tool that works best for you.

Your credit report is an essential document of your financial responsibility. It might be used in various situations, from getting a credit card to buying a house – or even applying for a job. This is why keeping track of your credit score and annual credit reports is important!

Rethink Your Living Expenses

This one's pretty simple. Look at your bank statements and daily routines and ask yourself if the life you live right now fits your budget. Maybe you have one too many streaming subscriptions that you don't use? Or you support your local pizza joint a little bit too much?

The new year offers everyone a fresh start, so why not reevaluate your current habits and find areas for improvement? Your wallet will thank you!

Create a Retirement Plan

In the U.S., the retirement age is 66 years and two months. And everyone has to work hard to be able to retire and relax. But the sooner you figure out your retirement plan, the better off you'll be when you're old and gray!

How much should you save for retirement? The average retirement savings for all families is $333,940, according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances. However, most people don't care enough about retirement and retire with insufficient money.

You can choose from many types of retirement plans, and we urge you to get your information from trusted sources to avoid misinformation and fraudulent websites. Check out the U.S. Department of Labor's website for types of retirement plans.

You could also reach out to your work's upper management, as many employers offer some type of assistance when it comes to planning for retirement.

Start Investing

You know we had to mention this, right? Investing means putting your money to work for some time in some sort of project to generate positive returns. Basically, you put your money somewhere for a while, and when you take it back, you get more than you had before!

Before investing your money, you need to think about it. Evaluate your risk tolerance – the level of risk you’re willing to take when investing. If you're ready to risk it, you may win big, or you may lose big. You never know!

Where can you invest? You can choose from various investment opportunities – exchange-traded funds, high-yield savings accounts, real estate, funds, stocks, etc. The more diverse your investment portfolio is, the more money you stand to make.

Tips to Stick to Your New Years Resolutions

A 2014 survey found that 35% of survey respondents who failed their resolutions said they had set unrealistic goals, 33% didn’t keep track of their progress, 23% simply forgot about them, and the remaining said they failed due to other factors.

Here's how to avoid such failure, step by step.

Set Realistic Goals

Begin your life-improvement adventure with realistic and achievable goals. If you want to save money, decide on a sum you want to have in a week, a month, six months, or a year.

If you want to pay off debts, don't shoot for the stars – look at your budget and pick a sum of money that makes sense within your monthly income and how much you spend every month.

Track Your Progress

Check in with yourself regularly. How regularly? Up to you. Most benefit from progress checks every month or every three months. Many things can happen in three months, so if you feel like it, keep yourself accountable by monitoring your progress more often.

And then, when the new year comes, wrap up your yearly goals and evaluate how well you did. If you succeed, you can pat yourself on the back and ramp up your ambitions for the future. And if you fail, be kind to yourself and try again.

Find an Accountability Buddy

If you're the only one who knows about your savings goals, it's easy to sweep them under the rug if you notice that you may not reach them. This means that if you're serious about caring for your financial health, you need to find yourself an accountability buddy.

Your parents, siblings, extended family, friend, partner, or neighbor – anyone you know and trust can help you stay accountable. Here's how that’ll help you. Say you decide to save $20 each week.

So, at the end of every week, you connect with your buddy and tell them how much cash you managed to save and why. Were you successful because you cooked your dinner instead of paying for takeout pizza? Or did you fail because you wanted a sweet treat after work?

Share your progress with your accountability buddy, and keep up with your financial New Year's resolutions! No one likes to admit that they failed at something, and that's precisely why having someone else hold you accountable and motivate you is crucial.

The 20-30-50 Budget Rule

To help you figure out how much of your income you should be spending, saving, and investing, look at the 20-30-50 budget rule. 

People worldwide use this method of managing their budget because it considers your daily spending for necessary and fun expenses and saving money.

The 20-30-50 rule advises you to allocate 50% of your income towards your "needs," which are your living expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, food and drinks, car insurance and gas, health insurance, etc.

Then, 30% of your paycheck should go towards your "wants" – a new T-shirt, a concert, perfume, etc. The remaining 20% of your salary should be going toward your savings.

When saving your hard-earned cash, you can keep it in your checking account, put it into a specific savings account, or invest it in something like mutual funds or money market funds.

Good Luck With Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

If you've read this entire article, you now know why people set themselves goals every January 1st, how often they succeed, and what should you do to make sure you reach your goals.

We want to help you on your income-boosting journey, and that's why we're inviting you to join Honeygain – the app that'll allow you to earn money effortlessly. After downloading Honeygain, you share your internet connection and get paid as a thank you!

It doesn't matter which resolution you pick for the upcoming year – whether you want to increase your savings, create a personal budget, start investing, or plan for retirement – any step you take toward financial success is great.