5 Personal Finance New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

I absolutely love the New Year because it’s a time to reflect on the last year and dream about the next. What will you celebrate about your 2015? What will you achieve in 2016? It’s so exciting but with so many goals you might be thinking, “How will I find the money to do everything I want to do?” So glad that you asked! I have some extremely effective personal finance New Year’s resolutions for 2016. And the best thing is that they won’t cost a thing!

5 Personal Finance New Year's Resolutions for 2016

By Ashley Feinstein

Personal Finance New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

Stop beating yourself up:

Have you ever listened to the way you talk to yourself? If you are beating yourself up, keep reading. Scolding and chastising ourselves is one of the surefire ways to derail our goals. Believe it or not, we are on our own teams. We can work with ourselves toward the things we truly want.

That being said, we all make mistakes. When you do, it’s important to forgive ourselves and move on. Keeping this resolution will make all the others possible!

Open a high yield savings account:

If you are using the savings account connected to your checking account, I can guess with reasonable certainty that you probably don’t have much saved in there. If you do end up saving something, it’s most likely not in there for long. How did I know? You’re not alone!

Check out Parkinson’s Law. It’s important to get your savings out of your account so that it’s completely separate. A high yield or high interest savings account offers higher interest rates than your typical savings account but even more importantly, it separates your accounts so that you can’t transfer money over on a whim.

Keep a money journal:

Writing down everything you spend and earn might sound too simple to be life-changing but it really is! When we write or type out everything we spend and earn, we get extremely conscious about where our money is going. Until we know what’s actually happening with our money, we can’t make honest decisions about where it will best serve us.

Keeping a money journal actually puts us back in control of our spending. We are no longer dazed and confused when the credit card bill comes in. I promise it won’t be as painful as you think.

Create a happiness allocation:

What’s a happiness allocation? It’s my way of saying budget. I think happiness allocation is a better name for a budget because what a budget does is it help us allocate our money in the ways that make us the happiest. While we often think of budgets as restricting, they are actually one of the most liberating and freeing tools out there.

Use the data you gathered from your money journal to estimate your expenses for the next twelve months. If you take your annual expenses minus your income, is there enough money left over to save for your goals by the date that you hope to achieve them? If you’re not sure what your goals cost, read on to the last resolution.

Put a price to your dreams:

If you don’t know how much you need to save in order to live your dreams, how will you know how to get there? List out everything you want to accomplish and the date you’d like to accomplish each goal. Then it’s time to do some research. How much will each goal cost? Don’t be afraid to get creative. One of my dreams is to live in another country for a month each year. If I rent a house or apartment for the month, I’ll be able to save up for this goal a lot more quickly than if I decide to buy a home somewhere else. I could even do an apartment swap with someone in a country I’m interested in visiting. See what I mean? It’s okay to come up with a less expensive way to get there. I call this being fabulously frugal!

Don’t try to take on all your resolutions at once. You have all year! Start with the first to give yourself time to build the new habit. Then you can work your way down the list.

What do you want to accomplish in 2016? What are your personal finance New Year’s resolutions for 2016? We’d love to hear about them!

Ashley Feinstein founded Knowing Your Worth where she works as a certified money coach. Ashley demystifies the world of money and personal finance for her clients whether they are creating a financial plan, negotiating compensation or paying down student loans. She offers one-on-one coaching, workshops, and a 30 Day Money Cleanse. Ashley and her work have been featured on Real Simple, NBC News, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, DailyWorth, Learnvest, Levo League and GoGirl Finance, among others. Ashley worked in the financial services industry for more than five years: first as an investment banker and more recently in corporate finance. She graduated with a bachelor’s in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Image via Atlantic-Pacific.


33 Responses to 5 Personal Finance New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

  1. Ashley says:

    I love keeping a spending journal.. I really need to do this! I think it’ll put in perspective what I’m actually spending my money on!


  2. Lauren says:

    This is awesome. I’ve never thought about keeping a spending journal but I’m going to. It might help me realize how much money I spend because I really need to just calm down. I’m super impulsive and it isn’t good! Love these tips, as always. I like the happiness allocation idea. What a smart name!

  3. I love the term “happiness allocation.” It sounds positive and a lot less restricting than the word budget. These are great tips to keep in mind this year!


  4. Sara Kate says:

    Making a spending journal is crucial. Seeing and physically writing down every transaction makes it all sink in a little more.

    Sara Kate Styling

  5. Kayleigh says:

    I’d love to start a money and journal and keep my receipts, but I feel like I would truly hate myself after! Love this idea!

  6. Claudia Jane says:

    Checking accounts linked to savings accounts just are not ideal. That’s how mine is, and you are correct, I am not saving much. That is one of my new years resolutions as well, to spend less and save more. great tips, let’s see how we do!
    xo, claudia

  7. Jenny says:

    This is a great post!
    I have a separate savings account that isn’t connected to my bank account and it has helped me save SO much money.

    xoxo, Jenny

  8. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – it’s been amazing in helping us manage personal finances! Here’s the site, if you want to check it out: http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/

    XO, Oksana | FOXYOXIE.com

  9. I’m studying abroad in England over the summer, so my money is tight. I love the idea of keeping a money journal. I’ll certainly have to try it out!

  10. Savannah says:

    Putting a price on my dreams this month as I try to work out expenses for studying/volunteering abroad this summer!


  11. Maya says:

    A happiness budget is such a good idea! I’ve never really thought about thinking of my expenses in that way, but I need to be better at giving myself a strict budget for shopping and fun (and then sticking to it!) xx

  12. Ashley says:

    This was such a great read filled with so many tips! I will definitely be implementing some of these!

    xo Ashley

  13. Samantha says:

    I love “happiness allocation”instead of budget. Putting a positive spin on things by putting money TOWARD something fun rather than placing a monetary limit makes a big difference. I bought one of those cute glass bank jars for my husband that says “Big Boy Toys” for him to use and it’s working really well! I also find that by limiting my “fun money” to cash I stop myself from mindlessly swiping. So we’ll pull out a certain amount of money for a weekend and that’s what we spend!

  14. Morgan says:

    I definitely beat myself up over money and need to work on that. I save up for a purchase, buy it, and then resent myself for actually spending the money haha. Also, I agree a money journal/budget is essential! I have a monthly excel budget and literally enter in every transaction I make. It has really helped me stay within my means and also pay off some debt!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      That’s such a smart idea! I should do that. I use Mint which is really helpful. But it doesn’t track cash purchases so your Excel doc would be a good solve.

  15. This came at the perfect time! I’m absolutely awful at managing my finances. It’s such a bad habit. I love these tips, because it still leaves room for fun! I’ve never heard of a ‘happiness allocation,’ but of course I’m really attracted to the idea. I think keeping a money journal is such an awesome idea!

  16. Cat says:

    Getting a high-yield savings account is a great idea! It is never too early to begin investing money and accumulating interest, something many millennial forget about.


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