Personal Finance Goals

Personal Finance Goals Fall Short in 2015

It looks as though many Americans were not thrilled with their personal finance goals for the 2015 year. A study completed by Capital One showed that, at the end of 2015, only 34 percent of Americans felt that they accomplished some of their financial goals for the year. Once the new year comes around, people make resolutions to save more money or pay off old debts, as part of a New Year's resolution. Why did so many people fall short on their personal finance goals for 2015, and how can they make a change in 2016? Read on to find out.

Financial experts weigh in

The Capital One survey found that only 17 percent of respondents actually stick to a monthly budget. Creating a monthly budget, whether it be for yourself or a family, is one of the most important aspects of personal finance. One-third of those polled said their number one financial goal for 2016 is to pay off debt, while also becoming better money savers. Personal finance expert, Nicole Lapin, said that many people simply lack a spending plan. People need to learn how to spend realistically, but also plan for times when they can indulge. Many financial experts recommend utilizing a monthly progress tracker, and 43 percent of the respondents for the Capital One survey agreed. They believe a digital monthly progress tracker tool would benefit them in reaching their financial goals for 2016.

How to reach personal financial goals in 2016

What did you spend money on in 2015? In order to work toward your 2016 goals, it is first important to take a look back at your spending habits from 2015. In order to do this, simply access your 2015 credit card and bank statements to see what you spent your money on. You can make categories for items, and even further review how much money was spent, per month, on each category. For example, maybe you spent an excessive amount of money eating out in 2015. At least now you can see how much you spent during the year, and look for ways to save in 2016. In this instance, set a personal goal of eating out for lunch during the work week on just Fridays, while brown bagging lunch every other day.

Develop your 2016 budget After reviewing your 2015 financial statements, you can now better understand your spending, and develop a 2016 budget. Obviously you can work on a monthly budget, but determine how you can work toward paying off debt or saving money, based on your 2015 finances. It is also important to think about how your income might change in the new year. Do you plan to find a new position, or will you be expecting a raise? These are important pieces of information that you should be aware of when developing your budget.

Create financial milestones Creating a budget and coming up with financial lifestyle changes can be difficult, which is why creating milestones can be helpful in obtaining your goals. Writing down your goals where they can be viewed daily can go a long way in actually following through with them. Remember to make your goals attainable and realistic. It is hard to make changes when it comes to your finances, especially if you feel forced because it's a new year. If you are determined enough, you can achieve your 2016 personal finance goals!