Personal Finance Poll: Do You Make Financial New Year’s Resolutions?

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Tue, Dec 30 - 9:23 am EDT | 6 years ago by
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Every year, many of us consider New Year’s resolutions. And this is not a bad practice. It is a good idea to sit down, consider the past year, look ahead to the new year, and try to be better. I make financial New Year’s resolutions every year. Here’s what I hope to accomplish in terms of personal finance in 2009:

  1. Rebuild the emergency fund to $1,000.
  2. Save up four months’ worth of expenses.
  3. Finish saving up to put in a yard.
  4. Refinance the home with a lower rate, 15 or 20 year fixed mortgage.

Another thing I’d like to do, but don’t put up there as an especially important priority, is to start taking the necessary classes to become a certified financial planner. But we’ll see how that goes. Getting my house in order is my first priority.

Do you make financial New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are they? Leave a comment and let us all know.


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  • Eric J. Nisall

    I don’t make resolutions just at the end of the year, as I see it as a cop-out and it just leaves the door open for failure. I prefer to take care of things as I think of them and start working on goals as soon as I set them. I would go into detail, but I think it would be easier to just point to Forget New Years, Start Making Your Financial Resolutions Today since it was already neatly planned and composed.

    Have you been to yet Miranda? It gives you a host of resources for getting educated and licensed for the CFP designation. The one thing I noticed is that the courses are fairly expensive depending on where you go for the education, but some distance learning programs offer a bulk price for the entire set in one payment. You may also want to check out It is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, which a group dedicated to fee-only advising.

  • miranda

    Good points, Eric! It is important to be continually setting goals throughout the year. However, I find that setting specific goals for New Year gets me in gear to kick-start things off right. I make three or four overall goals of what I would like to accomplish in the New Year, and then I plan to get them done. I make other, smaller goals, and adjust my plan as needed.

    Thanks for the great information and resources on financial planning. I do know that some courses are expensive, and that is why it’s something that I’d like to do when we have the disposable income for something like that. After I get my home taken care of :)

    Happy New Year!

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  • Eric J. Nisall

    I’ve been researching the educational component for a while now. It just frustrates me that the only way to get the work experience is to work at a commission-only job unless you start your own business but still have to wait to get 3 years in. But, like you said, you have other priorities to deal with first. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  • Miranda

    Thanks, Eric!

  • IDWatchdog

    1. Emergency fund back to $1,000.
    2. Pay off credit cards … again!
    3. Begin college fund.
    4. Save for a new roof.

  • miranda

    Thanks for sharing your resolutions, ID! They look great. Is the college fund for you or for someone else?

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  • Flipsem

    I have two goals the first is to make sure that what I have is protected and your post is good advice.

    The second is to discover many small ways of creating income. These small efforts all together soon add up.

    It’s really a golden rule to not put all your eggs in one basket. A cliche I know, but so true.

    I know many years back I had a job and over night my income stopped. With only one way to make money you are very exposed. Todays climate really does highlight that very point.

    So our resolution is discover as many small ways to create revenue each year.

    May you and your readers create a secure 2009

  • Miranda

    Thanks for sharing Flipsem! It is a good idea to make sure you adequately protect what you already have. And then look for ways to grow it. Excellent resolutions!

  • tom

    I want to make two points here.
    1. Why do we need to wait till new years to set goals or intentions, isn’t January 1st just another day in the calendar?

    2. How many of us keep that goal or intention longer then a week after January 1st?

  • miranda

    No one is saying that you have to wait til New Year. Indeed, Eric points out that we should be doing it year round, and I agree with him. The start of a new year, however, provides a very visible milestone in most people’s lives, and many people find it a good reminder that introspection is needed, and improvement can be made.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but my 2008 resolutions were all fulfilled, save one: learn to play the guitar. And that is one that I’m rolling over to this year, with a rather convenient beginning guitar class — lasting two months — starting in a couple of weeks.

    I think it depends on your goals. If you are making vague goals, and merely using intentions, it is harder to stick with them. My four main goals are very achievable: They are quite specific. They are basically a checklist of the most important things I would like to do this year with my personal finances. Once I get them checked off (something I can do by March or April, I think. Well, May or June for saving up for the yard), I can move on to something else. But setting goals at the beginning of the New Year is a way for me to kick-start the year on a positive note.

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