Start the Year Right with These Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Published: December 23, 2020 | Updated: July 23, 2021 | Posted by: Rouselle Isla | Personal Finance

financial resolutions for 2021

To say that we can’t wait to bid this year goodbye is an understatement. It will definitely be remembered as the year that pushed everyone’s finances to the limit. But hey ― a new year is coming. Which means it’s time to look at our financial wins and losses and make that much-needed New Year’s resolution list.

Check out these New Year’s resolution examples we’ve listed below. Hopefully they will give you ideas on how to make resolutions of your own. Or you can just pick the best resolution that will help turn your financial situation around or achieve your money goals.

1. Assess your current financial situation

What do you own, and how much do you owe? Where’s your income coming from, and what are you spending them on? Is one income stream enough to cover all your expenses, or do you need to create several more to make ends meet?

Once you work out the numbers, you will know what changes you need to make or bad money habits you need to let go of to improve your financial situation.

2. Set realistic financial goals

Not only will it prevent you from being frustrated or disappointed when you don’t hit your goals. It will also remove the pressure of trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution financial goals. So start with small, achievable goals like paying off your credit card bills in full, or settling your personal loan. Once you tick this off your resolutions list, tackle a new and bigger goal!

3. Stick to a budget

man creating budget with calculator

It’s not always easy to. But if you identify expenses where you usually go over budget, you can easily remedy these budget leaks. There are many budget apps that you can download to help you track your spending as well.

Review your credit card statements, shopping receipts, and digital transaction slips. They can help you track if you’ve been spending too much on food deliveries or online shopping sites.

4. Save every payday

This is the most common New Year’s resolution because it’s one of the easiest and most doable resolutions for a lot of people.

Put a portion of your salary to your savings account, and do it every payday. This way, you will not be tempted to spend it, and you’ll just budget what’s left in your account.

If you want to boost your savings, you can also put in monetary gifts, bonuses, extra income, or any windfall automatically to your savings account.

Read more: 8 Christmas Saving Tips to Enjoy Your Quarantine Holidays

5. Learn more about money

Read up on business news or check out well-reviewed financial books. Start following leading financial figures online. Understand different financial terms and concepts. You can also follow the Moneymax blog for useful personal finance tips and lessons. The more you understand how money works, the more likely you are to use it wisely and increase it over time.

6. Set up a financial safety buffer

Add this to your New Year’s resolution ideas so that you will not experience again the financial stress brought on by 2020. One of the biggest lessons this year has taught us is that unexpected events can throw our lives into shambles. But having well-thought-out protection measures, like emergency funds or  life insurance coverage, can help cover losses.

7. Pay off your debts

Start with the smallest and work on the bigger debts. It’s a sound strategy that will inspire you to pay off everything that you owe. And if budget permits, you can also increase your payments or make extra payments to fast-track the repayment process. This way, you can eliminate your debts quickly and not have to worry about them for the rest of the year.

8. Fix a bad credit score

A bad credit score can affect future loan or credit card applications, so start the year with a clean slate. Avail of a credit card amnesty program for your unpaid credit card dues or ask for a loan restructuring for your unpaid loans. Communicate with your creditors to come up with a repayment plan that’s easy on your finances.

9. Have more frequent no-spend days

It will take a lot of self-discipline and a little help from your family to commit to no-spend days. Start with cooking what’s in your fridge or pantry so you don’t have to order online. Read a book or watch a movie instead of browsing on your shopping apps. Do household chores or catch up on sleep. There are so many free (and fun) things to do at home.

10. Delete shopping apps ASAP

Speaking of no-spend days, deleting all your shopping apps from your devices and removing all bookmarked sites from your computer browsers can help you in this endeavor. If you think you can’t do it, just think about how much you’re going to save by not giving in to all those shopping impulses.

11. Pay in cash

The pain of paying [1] is real, especially when you pay in cash. The psychological effect of physically handing over your cash to someone is more noticeable compared to paying with your debit card, credit card, or mobile wallet.

Somehow, not paying with cash dissociates you from the whole payment process. So if you want to save more and spend less, leave your credit cards at home and only fund your mobile wallets with only the amount that you need.

12. Use your points to get discounts or free items

Check your credit card rewards program to see if you’re eligible to redeem free items. Use your reward points to pay off fees or get discounts on purchases. You can also use your cash back credit card to get rebates on qualified purchases. Every little discount or freebie goes a long way, especially if you’re on a budget.

13. Sell unused or unwanted items

woman decluttering closet

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So if you’re no longer finding joy in most of your things, sell them off, tidy up, and earn extra cash. .

Sell old clothes and other stuff that you haven’t used but are still in good condition. Like your old car that you keep around for sentimental reasons. Or those nutrition month costume ideas that you started but never finished. Sell your books and DVDs gathering dust on your bookshelf. Even those winter clothes that you keep in little storage boxes under your bed.

14. Reflect on the financial mistakes you made last year

Whether intentionally or not, we all made financial boo-boos this year. This is the best time to do some financial self-reflection. Did you spend too much on unnecessary things? Were there a lot of instances when you asked friends and family for financial assistance? Did you overcome one financial hurdle after another?

Remember that not every mistake is a downfall. Learn from it and bounce back. Avoid making impulsive financial decisions and let go of bad financial habits.

Final Thoughts

Here’s to sticking to these great financial New Year’s resolutions. Some may be harder than others, but they can be done! With discipline and willpower, you can achieve your money goals and come out on top of your finances.


[1] Pain of Paying