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Making and sticking to reasonable financial goals

Friday - 1/3/2014, 9:50am  ET

WASHINGTON - Just two days into the new year and many people have already blown their New Year's resolutions. But for those considering a new financial start, there are easy ways to stick to it.

Succeeding in keeping financial goals is simple: set reasonable goals, says Kiplinger Personal Finance editor Janet Bodnar. The magazine compiled more goal-achieving advice on its website.

"Instead of saying, 'Oh I want to save money in the New Year,' set some very specific, reasonable goals. One being, sign-up for your workplace retirement plan by the end of January. Maybe you want to contribute more to that plan. Maybe you want to set up a vacation fund with your bank," Bodnar says.

Enlisting friends to help curb shopping or dining-out expenses can also help keep you accountable to your goals, she says.

"If you want to up your savings, discuss it with your spouse and maybe you can do it together. So you're each going to save $100 more per paycheck. That way it's not all on your back," she says.

Finally, share goals with others, which Bodnar says can make them tougher to shake

"Write them down or tell them to someone. That gives you the incentive, 'Oh my gosh, I've already told my family, so now I really have to save for that vacation.'

"Any little psychological trick that you can play on yourself will help you reach the goals," she says.

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