Recently, we talked about New Year’s resolutions and how to make them easier to keep. This week, we’re going to talk about some tools that you can use to help you keep them. All last fall on this blog, we talked about ways to save. A new year and new resolutions can put our savings tools to the test.

We know from last week that it’s OK to have a lofty goal and we learned that it makes sense for that goal to be specific (i.e., rather than promising to save more, you promise to save a certain amount) and for the goal to be achievable and have a specific timetable (helpfully broken down into daily, weekly, and/or monthly chunks).

Do you have a specific savings goal in mind? Have you looked at your paycheck and bills to ensure that it’s a realistic goal? Did you set savings goals by week/month? Yes, yes, and yes? Then, you’re ready to tackle that goal!

Hopefully, you’ve already asked your employer for a new W4 form and filled it out with an updated number of allowances. You haven’t yet? That’s fine. Here are some easy-to-follow directions. Ask your employer or human resources for a new form and maximize your paycheck! With the extra you have from maximizing your paycheck, you can now use those extra dollars to meet your savings goal! Win/win.

While we’re on the subject of employers, ask for a new direct deposit form and split your newly maximized paycheck into savings and checking. This way, the savings happens automatically and you’ll meet your goal without even realizing that you’re saving. Another win.

Next up is a plan for tax time. If you filled out your W-4 to maximize your paychecks, then you will likely have a smaller refund, but that doesn’t mean that tax time isn’t a time to save. Plan to set aside a portion (or specific amount) of your refund into savings. Here are some options on how to plan for tax-time savings.

Planning for a vacation or a new bike or a new refrigerator, new glasses or summer camp for the kids? Saving for all of those things is saving, too. And Southern has a new feature in all of their accounts to help you save for and meet those goals.

You can make your savings resolution a reality!

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