By Andrea Woroch
After months of heavy spending – and eating – people across the country start to think to themselves: this isn't sustainable.Like clockwork, Americans make ambitious plans.January is the big month, but that's just the beginning.Or, so they think.
According to U.S. News & World Report, by the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution makers are back on the couch with a new kind of remorse.They've quit.And worse yet, they only made it a little over a month.
The bad news is, going twelve straight months achieving your lofty personal finance goals is tough, but it doesn't have to be impossible. indicating that nearly 10 percent go the distance – completing their resolutions.While that's only one in ten people who have the fortitude to stick it out, maybe the other nine are setting themselves up for failure.
So, instead of throwing in the towel, follow some of these tips to earn monthly supplemental income in 2019. Having that extra source of money can be a huge relief for you and your family – and it doesn't require life-changing sacrifice.
Here are some strategies:
1. Get specific. If you vowed to spend less and save more or committed to paying off debt this year but find yourself lost, it's likely because your goal is too general. You need a clear and direct path, so redefine your resolution by identifying a specific goal, such as how much you want to save or pay off in credit card debt, and give yourself a target date. Include a list of steps you need to take to get there so you have a concrete plan to follow.
2. Set realistic goals. Mom and dad always told you to reach for the stars and that's a great way to approach life, but when it comes to improving your finances, you need to be a bit more realistic about what you can accomplish in order to succeed. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for failure. It's common to feel frustrated and give up when things aren't going as planned or your aim is unachievable. Depending on what financial goal you set for yourself, crunch some numbers to determine what you can reasonably accomplish within a set period of time.
3. Take baby steps. You may be eager to move quickly toward your financial goal and try to cut every discretionary expense you can think of. However, trying to make big changes all at once can backfire — you will feel constricted without room for a few non-essentials in your budget and lose motivation to keep working hard. Take baby steps toward changing and establishing healthier saving or spending habits and find one or two financial behaviors to focus on at a time. For instance, if you buy coffee every day before work, begin brewing your own just twice a week. Once you become accustomed to this, build from there.
4. Boost your cash flow. Don't just look at which expenses you can cut from your budget to reach your financial goal. Instead, think about how you can make more money to fast track your savings or debt repayment faster. You can find freelance work through sites such as or helping with small jobs through . Or, earn up to an extra $1,000 each month by pet sitting via . When you start making real progress to your goal, you will be excited to stick with it.
5. Visualize progress. When setting your goal, it's important to track mini-milestones along the way. This allows you to see the progress you're making, which is key to staying motivated. For instance, figure out how much you want to pay off or save at different dates throughout the year. Every time you meet one of these smaller targets, you will feel inspired to continue toward reaching your ultimate goal. There are plenty of apps that can help you along the way. For example, lets you set up and monitor your savings goal, all while holding you accountable to every dollar you spend.
6. Rinse and repeat. Although you've taken the first crucial step toward changing your financial health by setting a New Year's goal, don't stop there. In order to achieve financial freedom, you need to make a lifelong adjustment. The easiest way to make your new money-saving routine a habit is through repetition. For instance, carve out time every Sunday to meal prep for the week so you save on the costs of dining out. Over time, this will be a habit that you don't even have to think twice about!
If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, join MoneyTips and use our free Debt Optimizer tool.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert.Andrea has been featured on hundreds of regional and national TV shows such as Today, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, CNN, MSNBC, ABC World News, CBS, FOX & Friends, HLN and many more. She is also a regular monthly contributor to KTLA Morning News, US News & World Report, GOBankingRates.com and Clark.com.