Make New Year’s resolutions that last

The holiday season can really put a dent in our finances. Whether you find the holidays to be joyous or just stressful, there’s a good chance this time of year is a strain on your budget.

After the shine of the holidays fades away, sometimes it feels like all you’re left with is an empty wallet to start the New Year. That’s ok! There are some easy ways we can all get back on track before our New Year’s resolutions fizzle.

Start by setting a realistic goal, and writing it down. Be specific! Maybe saving money hasn’t been your strength in the past, but identifying exactly how and why you want to save can go a long way. 

Do you want to store away a certain amount for a mid-year vacation? Are you looking into buying a home at the end of the year? Perhaps you just want to spend less on luxuries like morning mochas or new shoes. Whatever your ultimate goal, have a specific number in mind. The more precise you can be, the easier it is to hold yourself accountable.  

After you have a specific savings goal, take a good look at all of your accounts and understand how your money moves. There is a rhythm to the way we all spend money, everything from weekend indulgences to automated payments shape our monthly money flow. When you see patterns emerge in the way your income and expenses counteract each month, it becomes easier to identify exactly where the savings opportunities are. After you take care of your bills and living expenses, try to set up an automatic transfer to a savings account every month. It doesn’t have to be much. An automatic deposit of $50 per month into a savings account would give you an extra $600 at the end of the year. 

And because goals are always better when shared, try to find someone who can help hold you accountable. Think of it like having a workout buddy, but for your finances instead. Maybe you set up a friendly competition with someone to see who can save the most, or maybe you’d like to visit a financial advisor and start getting some professional advice. Either way, having a partner to help guide you will make it easier to get back on track when we inevitably stumble, and to celebrate our achievements when we reach our goals. 

First Tech can be the financial partner you need to keep you honest this year. As a member-owned Credit Union, we pass savings on to our members in the form of high savings rates and low loan rates. Take the first step to being financially healthy this New Year by visiting firsttechfed.com and learning more about how we invest in you.