3 Ways to Achieve Your Financial New Year’s Resolution In Just 30 Days

Originally Published Dec. 23, 2011

Thirty days.

That’s roughly the amount of time the average American sticks to his or her New Year’s resolution.

If we’re honest about our financial New Year’s resolutions — like saving money, organizing our finances better, or laying off the credit cards — many of us will admit that we might not even make 30 days.

But what if there was a way to jump-start your finances in 2012 so that even if your willpower waned after a month or so, you’d still be enormously ahead of the game?

Actually, there are several steps you can take to greatly improve your chances of achieving your financial goals in the coming year.

Here are three powerful ways to turbocharge your finances in 2012. These strategies can also help you make the most out of just 30 days in the New Year.

1. Give yourself a one-month challenge

Behavioral experts say it takes about three or four weeks for you to do something repeatedly, and have that action turn into a habit that lasts. So give yourself a one-month challenge to do, or stop doing, something in order to improve your finances.

If you want to start a good habit, try logging your expenses daily to better track your spending. Alternatively, you could carpool to work or even just put every dollar you get into a savings jar each day. Remember, you only have to do it for one month.

At the end of 30 days, you can always stop or tweak what you’re doing. But you will likely be so satisfied with the benefits of your newfound habit that you will decide to stick with it for the long haul.

To eliminate a bad habit, like overspending, consider not visiting your favorite retail store for 30 days, not carrying your credit cards with you each day to avoid impulse shopping, or not eating out at all for one month.