I know–we aren’t even done with Christmas yet and here I am talking about the New Year! The turn of the year always seems like a new slate. With an entirely new 365 days spread out before us we think about our goals or resolutions for the upcoming months.
What are your New Years resolutions? Losing weight, spending more time with family, taking up a hobby, getting organized. All of these are typical resolutions that we make. . . and then seem to break shortly there after. Capital One recently did a survey where they found that only 1/3 of Americans felt that they had reached the financial goals they set for this year. And people ranked family and finances equally as their top priority for next year–ahead even of things like getting fit or losing weight!
So if most folks would agree that finances are important, why don’t we reach our goals?
First off, many people tank their financial goals for the next year before they even start by overspending on Christmas. We all love to treat the ones we love to special gifts, but you need to keep your budget in mind when you do so.
When it comes to making resolutions, I personally feel that part of the problem is failing to clearly and specifically choose our goals. It’s easy to say “I want to get control of my finances in 2016”–but that’s a very non specific. How do you measure it? What steps do you need to take? How do you know when you’ve succeeded? Without a way to figure those things out you are just setting yourself up to GIVE UP at the first bump in the road.
The best way to start is to come up with very specific (and reasonable) financial goals. Write it out in sentence form! For example: “In 2016 I want to build an emergency fund of $2,000”, “In 2016 I want to save enough for a down payment on a house.” or “In 2016 I want to live within my means–keeping all my monthly budget items within the amount of my paycheck”. If someone can’t understand what your goal is and how you will measure it just by reading your sentence then it’s not clear enough.
Once you have a goal–how do you reasonably reach it? Capital One wanted me to share with you some of the straightforward, intuitive products and tools that they have to help you use your money wisely–both during the holiday season and right on into the new year.
To start with, 360 Savings from Capital One offers no fees, no minimums and provides great interest rates that help consumers get to their savings goals faster. That’s a good start–why start off paying for a savings account or having to keep a minimum balance. Next they have two tools to help:
- The ‘Automatic Savings Plan’ tool allows users to maximize their savings by having a fixed amount of money regularly transferred from their linked checking account to their online savings account, giving them a higher interest rate.
- The ‘My Savings Goals’ tool helps track progress and keep users motivated along their savings journey. It allows customers to easily articulate their savings aspirations by creating customized nicknames for each goal they set up. Customers can set goals, track progress and celebrate saving milestones.
- With Multiple Savings accounts you can create up to 25 additional separate savings accounts and nickname them whatever you want–also for no fee! So you can create “New Car Fund” “Vacation Fund” “Emergency Fund”. . . and keep your savings organized and separate!
So let’s say you set a goal of establishing a $2000 emergency fund. You could have your paycheck automatically deposited in your checking account, then with Automatic Savings Plan you could have $167 a month transferred into your “Emergency Fund” checking account. Of course you can track it all inside the My Savings Tools. There you are–a goal, a plan, and the tools to make it happen!
Capital One also has the Capital One Venture Card to consider if you are looking for a new credit card. You can earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
Good luck on your financial goals for 2016!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.