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Personal finance expert and podcast host Suze Orman says many people try to do much, too quickly, for their New Year's resolutions.
The New Year is the time to build new habits and start fresh. But when it comes to finances, many Americans feel stressed about what’s ahead.
We all know that January is a great time to start eating healthier food, drinking fewer calories, and getting into better shape.
"My New Year's resolution is to get in the gym more and start working out," one shopper told us while buying fresh vegetables at a market stall.
Another said, "I want to pay off some debt, get some things knocked off a bit."
Shirl Fetcher is taking it a step further, dreaming of a new financial future.
"I want to save some money, most definitely," she said. "I would love to start my own business; I love making jewelry."
Orman tells us those are all good ideals this time of year.
“When it comes to your money, think about what is the biggest wish that you have to see happen with it," she said.
However, she recommends avoiding setting major resolutions.
“You make a resolution, it's a thing to do at the beginning of the year, and then you break it, and then you feel bad about it,” she said.
Instead, Orman encourages you to write down your biggest money wish for the year and then take small steps to make it come true.
“Look at it every single week," she suggested. "Put it on your iPhone to give you an alarm," so that you remember to check in on your progress.
Whether that wish is building an emergency savings account or paying down credit card debt, Orman says it’s doable as long as you start small.
“If you really want it," she said, "and you know why you want it, then it's kind of easy to stick to it.”
Orman recommends living below your means — but within your needs— to maximize your money.
In a just-published interview with the Wall Street Journal, she suggests cutting down on the number of times you dine out, as each dinner out is a drain on your budget. After a few months, she says an amazing thing often happens.
“Once you see how easy it is, all of a sudden, you get more pleasure out of saving than you do spending," she said.
Fletcher likes that advice and is looking forward to big things in 2024.
“My resolution is to finish school and make more money,” she said, thinking of that small jewelry business she hopes to start.
Orman says it is all realistic if you set reasonable goals.
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