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3 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Set and Achieve in the New Year

Updated: Jan 11

Fidelity's 2024 Financial Resolutions survey found that Americans' top three financial resolutions were to save more money (41%), reduce debt (38%), and spend less (31%). 


Such goals between married couples are healthy for marriages. Research has found that establishing a financial resolution with your spouse, that is joint financial goals, will likely increase your relationship satisfaction and create a stronger sense of unity between you.


More broadly speaking, money is a leading cause of divorce and stress in a marriage. It's clear. Reaching financial goals that lead to financial health is imperative for your marriage.


This post has everything you need to crush all three financial goals




Goal #1 Save More Money

Top Savings Accounts


Earn the highest savings interest rates using Raisin.


My wife and I use Raisin to find savings accounts and CDs that pay the highest interest rates. As a matter of fact, the Raisin tool provided options that crushed all of the other options I could find without using it. This was especially true when exploring the big banks' savings account and CD rates. 


Learn more about how Raisin will help you reach your savings goals.



Employ the psychology of saving


Equally significant are using these five evidence-based tips to save together:



2. Reduce Debt


JL Collins once told me while recording the Transition to Marriage Toolkit:


"Debt is like leeches stuck to your body, sucking the blood and life out of you."

 

Reasonable people can disagree about whether or not a mortgage makes sense. We have a mortgage with an APR around 3%, so we don't want to pay it off early, at least not now. However, any high interest debt is like a leech on your body, as described by JL Collins.


The interactive below shares the two primary strategies for paying off debt: the avalanche method and the snowball method. Use the arrows in the lower left corner to go through it.



Another approach to consider is a hybrid method: start with the Snowball Method to gain confidence and then switch to the Avalanche Method because it's more efficient financially.


Student Loans


Couples sometimes need professional consultation. We proudly partner with Student Loan Planner to help folks who hold more than $50,000 in student loan debt. Carrying such significant debt can call for professional expertise, particularly if it is spreadout over multiple loans.



3. Spend Less


My wife and I use Tiller to manage our finances and reduce spending. We love it! Here are three reasons why:


1. Time saver!


We can't keep track of all our transactions in an app and don't have the time to enter them manually on a spreadsheet. 


Tiller updates daily and automatically.

 

2. Safety!


Tiller does not share personal data, advertise other products, or have detailed access to our financial accounts.


3. Budgeting!


Tiller makes it super simple to recognize spending patterns and identify problem areas. We use it on our Money Dates to review our spending and identify logical spending cuts.


Tiller is perfect for couples who want to reduce spending because they can see every transaction on one spreadsheet making it easy to identify spending patterns and set goals.



Five Hacks and Two Radical Ideas to Cut Spending Right Now


Five Hacks to Cut Spending Right Now


3 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Set and Achieve in the New Year

#1 Set a Spending Limit 


Establish a spending limit that is a promise to speak with your spouse before purchasing. 


As an example, agree not to spend more than $19 without asking the other spouse. Promise each other to play the devil's advocate before each purchase, to gently share why that purchase might not be needed.


This should not be an argument or be used as a tool for control! It's simply a strategy to pause, discuss, and move forward together.


#2 Make Spending Hard


Make spending money inconvenient and frustrating.

  • Remove spending apps from your phone.

  • Remove autofill financial information from websites and social media.


#3 Review and Eliminate Subscriptions


An easy way to review and eliminate subscriptions is after establishing your connections and budget on Tiller. It's easy to use a single spreadsheet to identify (and eliminate) subscriptions you no longer want to prioritize spending money on.


#4 Contact Insurance Providers


Shop around for your insurance: auto, disability, life, etc. Don't assume that the contract you signed years ago is still the right contract for you and your partner.


#5 Gather Estimates for Regular Services


Do you have someone care for your lawn? What about spraying for bugs? Even banking services can come at a cost. All of these services offer discounts or cash incentives to attract new customers. Shop around.


Two Radical Ideas to Cut Spending Right Now


Spending freeze


A spending freeze in a household budget involves temporarily halting all discretionary expenses, focusing only on essential and fixed costs such as bills and necessities. A spending freeze helps individuals regain control of their finances, curb unnecessary spending habits, and redirect funds to savings and debt repayment. It fosters disciplined financial habits, reduces frivolous expenses, and creates a clearer path to financial success.


Only use cash


When you spend money only in cash, you create a tangible limit to your expenses, allowing you to stay within your means and avoid overspending. There is even research indicating that people spend, on average, 19% more when they don't use cash.


If you choose this approach, consider using the envelope method. Here is the step by step process for using the envelope method:


  1. Assess Your Budget: Begin by creating a comprehensive budget outlining your various expenses, from groceries to entertainment and utilities.

  2. Allocate Funds: Assign a specific amount of cash to each spending category based on your budget. For instance, designate $200 for groceries, $100 for dining out, $50 for entertainment, and so on.

  3. Label Envelopes: Get envelopes and label each one with the corresponding spending category. Write the allocated amount on the front of each envelope to keep track easily.

  4. Withdraw Cash: Withdraw the total amount of cash you've budgeted for the month or pay period from your bank account.

  5. Distribute Cash: Divide the cash into the labeled envelopes according to your budget allocation. For example, if you allocated $200 for groceries, put $200 cash into the "Groceries" envelope.

  6. Use Cash for Expenses: When making purchases within a specific category (groceries, dining out, etc.), use the cash from the respective envelope. Once the envelope is empty, you've reached your limit for that category until the next budgeting period.

  7. Track Expenses: Keep track of your spending by recording each transaction and the remaining cash in each envelope. This will help you stay aware of your financial situation throughout the month.

  8. Adjust as Needed: If you overspend in one category, resist the urge to borrow from other envelopes. Instead, reevaluate your budget and adjust the allocations for the following period accordingly.

  9. Replenish Envelopes: At the start of each new budgeting period (weekly or monthly), refill the envelopes with the allocated cash based on your revised budget.


Learn More


Couples who learn more, save more, and spend more on what is important to them.


For engaged and recently married couples who want to manage money and the home as a team.


Self paced online courses for couples designed by national financial therapy and financial planning experts


Winning ideas from experts to manage money and the home as a team. 2023 Plutus Award Finalist: Best Couples or Family Content


🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Apple.

🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Spotify.


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