How to Keep Your Promises

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here are some tips from Money Management International, a consumer credit counseling agency, on meeting a financial goal:

Be specific and realistic. Don't just say you'll save more; you have to have a plan, not just a promise. Set a clearly defined goal that's within reach.

Make a budget. This is a key part of meeting your New Year's resolution. Track your expenses for a month to identify areas where you can cut back. Include savings and paying down debt in this budget.

Develop a long-term approach. For example, if your target is to save $2,500 for the year, plan to put away $50 a week. This will help you create a realistic budget that you can meet.

Write down your goals. It's easier to follow what you put in writing. You may want to post your goals where they'll be seen every day.

Don't give up. You will have periodic setbacks. "Once you have decided what you want to accomplish, be confident," said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for MMI.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company