MONEY TALK: How to set and keep your 2023 financial resolutions

Interview with Northwestern Mutual Private Wealth Advisor Justin Neal
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 2:04 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The new year is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about your 2023 resolution.

While the gym, learning a new skill and quitting a bad habit are typically the goals you hear of, many people are also starting to consider their financial goals.

Private Wealth Advisor Justin Neal shares these tips to help you set and keep your 2023 money resolutions.

Focus on your money beliefs and behaviors

Neal says the best place to start when outlining your financial goals is to identify your money beliefs and behaviors.

“When we see alignment between what we believe and how we’re going to have success through it, that is how we’re going to win.”

Examine your current financial habits and understand what beliefs you should adopt to enable you to change your spending behaviors.

Build financial momentum through tiny habits

When we think of money goals, most people think: spend less and save more.

And while those two approaches sound simple enough, sticking to them can be challenging.

Neal recommends building tiny habits that can evolve into your overall goal for the year.

“Put $5 into something that is aligned with your belief.”

Small changes that don’t require a lot of effort can help you stay more consistent and reach your resolution faster than trying to maintain the same level of financial restraint.

Motivation. Ability. Prompt.

Setting and keeping financial resolutions largely comes down to mindset.

Neal says to ask yourself these questions:

  • Who do you love?
  • Do you love yourself enough that you want to have freedom from the necessity of work one day?
  • Do you love yourself enough to be willing to set aside money to accomplish life experience goals for yourself?
  • Do you have a partner, children, parents or friends that you love?

“That usually taps into a motivation and a belief that it is compelling enough that people are willing to alter their behavior.”

Once you have true motivation through a belief, you should identify your ability.

Do you have the ability to save 30% of your paycheck?

Do you have the energy to cook your meals every night instead of eating at a restaurant?

Being realistic about your ability to keep up with your resolution plays a large role in sticking to it.

Instead of taking on a large behavioral change, consider your abilities and make small routine changes that don’t require you to significantly alter your day-to-day.

Lastly, Neal says to have a prompt.

“Find something that you do regularly in your life that will trigger you to do something related to your goal.”

Identify something you do every day and attach a part of your resolution to it.

Automate! Take the thinking and emotion out of it

“The things that require me to sit down every month and make a decision are harder to follow through on.”

Neal says the best way to maintain a financial goal is to automate.

Most banks let you set up automatic deposits from your checking account to your savings account.

Consider asking for help

When it comes to money, Neal recommends getting a financial advisor involved. Consider finding someone who can help you map out your goal.

To connect with a local financial expert or for more money-saving tips, click here.