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Financial New Year Resolutions , Start Now !

Every year, many folks try hard to break old habits, lose weight, or fix a “problem” in their lives, and they wait until January 1st to start this, but I have found that as soon as I call something a “New Year Resolution” it is doomed to failure. The pressure of calling anything a New Year Resolution, ensures that I worry far too much about it, and will eventually give up on this.

The University of Scranton put out some very interesting numbers on New Year’s Resolutions (in the U.S.)  and how long the attempted change continues, the telling stats (especially for old farts like me):

Age Success RatesData
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year14%

So people my age who try to make a change have a 14% success rate? Wow, it is really hard to teach us old dogs new tricks, but, if you don’t call it a Resolution, maybe you can trick yourself into a higher success rate.

financial new year resolution
Financial New Year Resolution(s) that failed miserably

Should you want to try some Financial Resolutions (not Sarcastic Financial Resolutions ) you can set up for success by starting now, a few examples:

  1. If you have resolved to give more to Charities, give now, and then give in the new year, and you will get the tax breaks for both years.
  2. Plan on putting more money in your child’s RESP, giving now and then in January means  you will get CESG kick ins for both of those “quarters”.
  3. The same can be said for an RRSP kick-in, yes you have until February to get the Tax break, but the sooner you put your money in, the sooner it starts growing (hopefully).
  4. Use your TFSA this year, it is the only tax-free way to grow your money, so use it.

There will be plenty of useful End of Year Reminder articles on the web, use them as a good template on what you can do this year to help you with your next year changes.

My Possible Resolutions

I was also glad to see in the Scranton results that money made it into the Top 3 (in fact #2 might actually be a financial thing as well).

RankTop 10 New Years resolutions for Next Year
Lose Weight
Getting Organized
Spend Less, Save More

Currently I am working on about 4 different changes in my life, but they are not going to be called resolutions, and I am not going to talk about them either, since that seems to ruin things as well.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I’m with Tawcan, a big reason why resolutions or New Years’ changes fail, is because the goals are not SMART. Even then, there must be a behaviour shift that must come with the goals and behaviours are very tough to change.

    Spend Less, Save More, has a much a chance at working as growing a money tree.

    Reconsider talking about your goals BCM, it makes them more “real” and makes you more accountable.

    Good luck with 2015!

  2. I like making “7 weeks before New Year’s” resolutions and “13 days before New Year’s” ones. I tend to keep them too.

    Giving to charity is always good, but sometimes it’s best to save the deduction for a couple of years and make a bigger claim all at once. The first $200 annually or so is at a lower rate. I suspect you give regularly well above $200 annually so you don’t need to consider that factor but for newbie charity supporters, it might be worth pointing out. Donation receipts can be saved up for about 5 years before claiming.

  3. Resolutions seem to fail for most people because they’re too broad or too general. People sure make specific goals and instead of checking back next year, they should check their progress every month. 🙂

  4. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    Resolutions do seem doomed to fail. It’s just such a convenient time to start things with the calendar switching over and everyone getting rested up over the holidays.

    I appreciate the recipe box burning. That’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get done!

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