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Quiz: What financial resolution should you make this year?

What we'll cover

  • Financial goals to focus on in the new year

  • How to determine your financial resolution

  • How to make a plan for the next 365 days

The end of one year and the beginning of the next always inspires reflection on the past and hopes for the future. It's the perfect opportunity to review your finances, check in on your goals and map out your next milestone. What better way to kick off the new year than by making a financial resolution?

New Year's financial resolutions quiz

Not sure where to start? Take our quiz to find resolutions to consider for your financial goals in the new year, then keep reading to learn how to tackle them head on.

How to achieve your financial resolution

Once your resolutions are set, it's time to get serious about making them happen. Like building any good habit, it takes time and commitment to build up those new routines.

Write down your resolutions

Just the act of writing down your financial goals can make a huge difference. Yes, really. Make sure to put them somewhere you'll see them regularly (no hiding it away in the junk drawer). Set up a monthly or weekly reminder on your phone, put it on a fridge magnet or write it in permanent ink on the front of your planner. Just make sure it's in front of you every day.

Have an accountability partner

If you're looking for even more motivation, find a financial resolution buddy — a trusted friend or family member to share your goals with. Whether you're opening a retirement account, saving for a down payment or ready to start investing , sharing that intention with someone else can make a huge difference in keeping you on track.

Your budget doesn't have to get in the way of other goals and priorities over the next year. Get creative.

Check your budget

Sometimes the simplest steps are the most effective. And yet, even though three-quarters of Americans have a budget, more than 80% of us have exceeded it. That's why finding a budget style that suits you is an important first step.

The 50/30/20 rule can be a good place to start by splitting your spending into three categories: 50% goes to needs (rent, food, etc.), 30% goes to wants (dining out, streaming subscriptions, etc.) and 20% goes to savings. And if that doesn't sound like a good fit, don't worry, there are other approaches to budgeting for you to try on.

A budget doesn't have to get in the way of other goals and priorities over the next year. Get creative. If you're trying to eat healthy on a budget, find items you can swap for lower-cost options like whole grains and legumes. Or save your way to a dream vacation by thinking beyond four-star resorts. Strong budgeting can set you up for success, but it shouldn't stop you from living your life.

Be flexible

Nothing can stop a resolution before it starts like a saving and budgeting approach that isn't the right fit. It's essential to find a process that works for you. Try a buckets and boosters approach to keep yourself motivated, and track your savings for the necessities (rent, groceries, healthcare), fun stuff (fashion, fun, travel) and your emergency fund .

Automation (through apps, notifications, etc.) is another great way to ensure you're sticking to your financial resolutions. That could mean using recurring transfers into your Ally Bank Savings Account each month to build up your nest egg (or to save for a long-awaited vacation).

New year, new finances

Building financial fitness isn't easy, but it's worth every penny. Remember to be realistic. You won't conquer all your money goals in one year, and putting that kind of pressure on yourself may do more harm than good. Map out a plan and stick to it, one day at a time.

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