Worst New Year's resolutions

Achieving financial stability

Who doesn’t want financial stability? But what is it?

The problem with resolving to achieve financial stability is that there is no clear definition of the term. You might think of it as a regular paycheck and a maxed-out 401(k). Your spouse thinks it’s a paid-off mortgage and college savings accounts for the kids.

While working toward financial stability by paying down debt and contributing to retirement accounts is important, doing everything at once is too lofty a goal to accomplish in a single year.

Smart solution: Define success.

Financial psychologist Brad Klontz suggests asking, “What does (financial stability) mean to you? What steps do you need to take to move in that direction?”

Until you develop a definition, it will be impossible to measure success.

Instead of including all goals under the heading "financial stability," break each one down into a measurable resolution. Examples: I resolve to reduce my credit card debt by 10%; I resolve to save $3,000 in an emergency fund.