5 New Year's resolutions that will be easy to keep
We all start a new year with the best of intentions, but building new habits is hard. If you want to take better control of your personal finances in 2022, here are a few things you can do that won’t require a lot of time—or a lot of willpower.
Resolution #1: How to save more money
One reason New Year’s resolutions fail is because they are too easy to break. You can turn regular savings into a habit by automating the process. Set up an automatic transfer each pay day that transfers a small amount of cash into your savings account. It’s okay to start small—you don’t want to be tempted to cancel your transfer because you suddenly need that money for something else next month. You can always increase the amount in the future.
Time required: 2 minutes to log in to online banking and set up a new automatic transfer
Resolution #2: How to reduce your debt
One of the fastest ways you can reduce your monthly debt expenses is by reducing your borrowing costs. With interest rates still near record lows, it’s a great time to explore refinancing your mortgage, your auto loan, or consolidating your debt into a single monthly payment. Right now, for instance, credit card rates average about 16% APR (annual percentage rate). If you have good (or better) credit, you can probably find a personal loan that charges considerably less.
Time required: 60 minutes (and often far less) to fill out an application, talk with a banker, and sign documentation
Resolution #3: How to reduce your spending
Are you spending money right now on things you don’t even use? Take a look at your subscriptions—streaming services, magazines and newspapers, websites—and think hard about the value they provide. Do you watch enough baseball to justify a $129 subscription to MLB? Are Spotify’s ads really that annoying?
Time required: 5 minutes or less to cancel an account, depending on whether it's one of those companies that makes you call instead of letting you cancel online (definitely stop giving those guys your money)
Resolution #4: How to earn more money (easy mode)
First, an easy thing you should check right now: Are you earning your full employer match on your retirement savings? Many employees, including Vibrant, will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar up to a certain percentage. If you’re not contributing at least that percentage of your salary to your retirement plan, you’re essentially telling your employer to keep an extra 1, 2, or even 5 percent of your annual salary for themselves.
Time required: 15 minutes or less to ask your HR department what you need to do to increase your contribution
Resolution #5: How to earn more money (advanced)
Second, there’s never been a better time to think about changing jobs—or renegotiating your current salary. The latest economic data shows there are more than 10 million open jobs right now, while the number of Americans collecting unemployment is lower than 2 million. Lots of people are finding better jobs right now—which could mean that your current employer might be more willing to increase salaries to keep experienced workers from moving on.
It’s probably a good time to mention that Vibrant is hiring—and we offer a 401(k) match up to 6 percent of your salary. Check out our current openings.
Time required: As little as a couple of weeks to six months or longer, depending on your field and your location