For so many of us, a new year welcomes new resolutions.
This is especially true when it comes to our finances and our taxes. It seems like everyone wants the same thing, to earn more and to keep more of what we earned. However, the skill isn’t found in making tax resolutions for the new year, it’s found in creating ways to fulfill your new-year tax resolutions.
To help motivate you in the new year, we’ve compiled a list of four easy ways to stick to your tax resolutions.
1. Realistic Resolutions
Yes, there is definitely a time and place for the epic speech of “Get Out There and Dream Big!”, but what may be even more important is to stay grounded and set realistic resolutions for this tax year.
Avoid the trap of trying to keep up with everyone around you, and instead create goals and resolutions for the new year that are specific to your situation and realistically attainable. You don’t have to dream small, just make sure your dreams are your own.
2. Your Savings Won’t Be Built in a Day
Patience is key. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results, or when your results aren’t as earth-shattering as you were expecting. For most of us, our financial goals and tax resolutions are going to take time to mature and succeed. Don’t get in a rush. Stay positive and persevere.
For example, if your tax resolutions include starting a Roth IRA, you need to understand that you won’t complete your retirement savings in the first 2 months of the year. It will take a steady pace of contributions to grow your savings. And that’s perfectly OK.
3. Create a Plan
No matter what your goals are for this new year, success begins with a solid plan of action. Wishing for success won’t fulfill your resolutions and your goals. Write them down, keep track of your victories and your failures, create a weekly, monthly, or quarterly plan to help continue your progress. Work backwards from the goal of your resolution to help determine where you need to begin and what each step should look like.
4. Revisit and Repair
Lastly, you can’t simply set your resolutions on cruise control. They need your care and attention. Revisit your goals and resolutions every few weeks or months – depending on what they are. Doing this will help you keep track of your resolutions and the steps needed for a successful outcome.
Going back to evaluate your tax resolutions will also help you find any changes or repairs that you need to make. Your financial life is very fluid, and adjustments are almost always necessary.
Good luck this year.