When it's time to ring in the New Year, do you aim high with resolutions to improve your health and finances, or skip them altogether? Last year, 34 percent of Americans included a financial resolution in their New Year's goals, according to research from the University of Scranton. But it's hard to gain traction with the two most popular financial resolutions—save more money and pay off debt—because they're too vague. If you want to make a lasting change this year, start with specific, measurable goals that are within reach.
Look at your previous year's finances
A quick review of your budget and spending habits over the past year can help you zero in on specific goals. If you're a Navy Federal member, you can use the Spending Tracker tool in Account Access for an instant picture of your spending in different areas over a given timeframe. Review the amount of money you saved in retirement, investment or savings accounts. Then, take a look at your current debt load. You may uncover small ways to gain control in all four areas.