Financial resolutions to make for 2017

Financial New Year's resolutions are one of the most common resolutions you'll hear next year. Why? Well for starters, getting a hold of your finances brings security and control over your future. We'll spare you the lecture, but make sure you check out this video to step up your financial know-how.

We interviewed Maggie Germano last month to get her money advice. In thinking about New Year's and the resolutions so many people make, we asked Maggie how you can take your resolutions a step further to make them something concrete.

What are the most common financial resolutions people make that make you cringe? And why?

I think the first mistake is calling financial goals "New Years Resolutions", because most people forget about those resolutions within months. But if you like making resolutions, ones that would make me cringe are the ones that are unrealistic and unattainable. For example, if you have a mountain of debt and your goal is to pay it off within the year, you're setting yourself up for failure. Be reasonable when choosing your financial resolutions, so that you don't make yourself suffer.

What are three finance resolutions women should be making in 2017? And why?

1. Keep a budget and track your spending! The first step to financial freedom is to know how much money you are making and where you are spending it. Once you have that framework, you have more control over your money and how you want to use it. To stick to this, put a reminder on your calendar to review your budget and spending at least once a week.

2. Identify your top 3 financial goals. You're much more likely to achieve your goals if you identify them and then write them down. If these goals are big, break them down into digestible steps. For example, if you want to save $5,000 this year, break it down into how much you'll be saving each month or week to make it happen. This will make it much less intimidating.

3. Get an accountability buddy. If you know you have a hard time sticking to resolutions, find someone else who has similar goals. Work together to keep each other on track. This doesn't have to (and shouldn't) be a shameful process, but more of a loving support system. Share your goals with that person and have regular check-ins to make sure you're both trying to reach them.

What resources do you recommend for women who want to continue getting smart with their money?

Come to the December Money Circle meetup on December 15! Are you worried about what a Trump presidency means for your financial future? This month, we will discuss how to prepare for uncertainty around healthcare, job security, equal rights, etc. Join us to show solidarity and make plans to protect ourselves and our money moving forward.

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