Before the stroke of midnight on December 31st, you thought about your financial goals for the new year. But now that we’re four months into 2016, do you know how you’re doing? There’s no reason to beat yourself up if you’ve faltered a bit (we’ve all be there), the important thing is to assess where you’re at and, if necessary, get back on track! Lucky for you, spring is a great time to reboot your resolutions; here are our strategies for regaining focus on your financial goals.
1. Know where you’re at today — Metrics are essential to assessing whether you or not you’re on track with your money resolutions. Fortunately, the Level Money℠ app can make it easy to view your progress.
- Did you want to cut back spending on a particular category like delivery food or online shopping? You can set up custom trackers to compare your month-to-month expenses in these areas or view your total spending over time. If you wanted to cut back on internet impulse buys by 75% but you only reduced your spending by half, that’s progress, but you have some room for improvement.
- Did you want to eliminate your credit card debt or put more money towards savings? The “Account Balances” section of the app gives you a quick look at balances across all your accounts, so you know how far you are from your goal. If you want $6,000 in your savings account by the end of the year and currently have $4,500 in the bank, you may still have work to do, but now you know what it will take.
2. Identify what’s holding you back — Instead of getting discouraged by a goal that seems out of reach, try to determine what’s making it difficult to achieve.
- Are you lacking the positive reinforcement you need? If the only kudos you get for a job well done come when you review your monthly bank statement, it can be hard to stay motivated. Check in with the Level app for frequent doses of encouragement by seeing your month-over-month spending habits and where you’ve improved.
- Did you break down your big goal into baby steps? Saving an extra $1500 this year can certainly sound daunting, but it’s around $40 a week, even if you’re just starting to put money away now. That’s why Level shows your spendable amount for the month, so you can see how spending under your monthly Spendable is a small effort that helps you make progress towards your larger goal.
3. Create a new game plan — Once you know where you’re at and what could be holding you back, it’s time to come up with a new strategy for achieving your financial goals.
- Do you have a system for managing your money that helps you track your progress? Whether that’s connecting your accounts to the Level app or opening a new bank account that makes it easier to save, find what works for you and stick to it.
- Are there actions you can take right now to put yourself on the right track? Creating good financial habits can be challenging, so you should try one of these simple changes today that can make it much easier to achieve goals like retirement saving or paying off your student loans.
And don’t worry — there are eight months left in 2016; you still have plenty of time to achieve your financial goals.