How to stay on track with your financial goals

Nearly half of consumers that made resolutions for 2021 are focused on saving or budgeting

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Having navigated a stressful 2020, people are making their way through 2021 with goals that will bring consistency and comfort – from making healthier choices to improving saving and spending habits.

Our new CIT Bank survey reveals some notable goals-based trends. Nearly half of consumers who planned to make resolutions for 2021 were focused on saving or budgeting, with Millennials (ages 26-39) more focused on their finances than anything else.

It’s encouraging to see that despite a turbulent year, consumers maintained consistent saving habits in 2020, and, when looking to the future, most are planning to improve those habits by saving even more each month.  

Whether you are making a financial-related goal or not, there’s always room to improve. Consider these useful tips to refocus your savings strategies and stick to your financial goals for the remainder of this year.

Reflect on your 2020 habits. Think back to your saving and spending habits of the past year. Did you adjust your habits to reflect the increased amount of time you’ve spent at home? Perhaps you’ve been spending less on dining and entertainment but more on home improvement projects or new hobbies. Or maybe you’ve been saving for new technology to enhance your remote work/remote learning experience. Reflecting on your 2020 saving and spending habits will help you level-set as this “new normal” continues throughout 2021.

Outline your priorities and set financial goals. Our survey reveals that 4 in 10 consumers are making fewer impulse purchases. That’s an encouraging statistic, and there are steps you can take to avoid making unplanned impulse purchases. First, outline your financial priorities based on your values. Then set goals that align with those priorities and your current financial situation. Defining what you’d like to achieve with your money and keeping your priorities and goals in mind will make it easier for you to set a budget and stick to it.   

Adopt new healthy habits. There are several quick wins you can achieve to help manage your expenses. Set spending limits on your debit or credit cards, try to meal prep at least once a week, or cancel subscriptions and memberships that you don’t frequently use. Layer in a handful of these small yet effective changes to add flexibility to your budget and help yourself stick to your financial goal. 

Set it and forget it with automated savings. Establish an automated savings plan to make the process of saving more manageable. 52% of consumers are somewhat or very likely to automate contributions to a savings account in the future according to our survey. You can join them in making an effortless savings goal by setting up an automatic transfer of $200 a month, or whatever amount works for your current financial situation.

Choose an account that simplifies saving. Look for account features that maximize your convenience like seamless money transfer tools, online and mobile access and robust security measures. A digitally convenient account will make it easy to set aside money and help you save more effectively.

Regardless of your plans for the remainder of 2021, these are steps you can take to improve your financial health and establish rewarding saving and spending habits after a challenging year. And if you are making a financial related goal, make sure to be realistic with yourself and set tangible, measurable steps to ensure this goal turns into a habit.

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