When it comes to 2024 resolutions, hip pockets are a number one priority.

Trading and investment platform eToro surveyed 1,000 people in December, finding 42% of Australians intended to set a financial resolution this year.

That’s 11 percentage points more than in 2023.

The jump is perhaps unsurprising, given 2023 saw an exacerbation of the cost-of-living crisis, five cash rate hikes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), and soaring property and rental prices

However, Aussies making resolutions to save, budget, or invest often fail to see them through.

Four in 10 people who resolved to get on top of their finances in 2023 weren’t successful, despite the majority sticking it out for more than six months.

Many blamed the rising cost of living, expenses, and inflation for their failure – all arguably worthy excuses. 

“As the cost of living continued to climb in Australia over the last year, consumers really prioritised immediate financial pressures over longer-term investments,” eToro Asia-Pacific CEO Robert Francis said.

If you’re hoping for more luck in 2024, however, now could be the time to set a strategy and stick to it.

Making a new year’s resolution can be a great way to create focus, but concrete habits are far more important for long term success, according to ANZ head of financial wellbeing, research, and design Mohamed Khalil. 

“Once formed, [habits] require less conscious effort, making saving, paying down debt, or managing your money an easier part of your day to day,” he said.

Here are four strategies the big four bank suggests those looking to achieve their 2024 resolutions prioritise this year: 

1. Break big resolutions down to create smaller goals

Achieving a small goal is an easy way to put a spring in your step and motivate you to improve. Setting lots of bite-sized targets is also a great way to ease the pressure often associated with resolutions.

2. Monitor your progress

Making a habit to regularly stop and check in on how much you’ve achieved can nearly double your chances of reaching your goal, according to ANZ.

3. Make it easy to reach your goal and hard to deviate off course

Automating your goal, or making it simple to work towards, is another way to increase your chances of success. Many banks will allow you to automatically transfer your salary to your savings account, for instance.

4. Be loud and proud about your new year's resolutions

Finally, tell everyone you know about your resolution (okay, maybe not everyone). Telling your friends, family, and colleagues about your goal doesn't just increase your accountability, it can also help you to realise support in reaching your goals. 

If all that sounds too complicated, or you’ve already made ANZ’s suggested changes, you might be more inclined to engage in a money ‘hack’. 

Insignia Financial manager of member engagement and wellbeing Anthony Caneva joined the Savings Tip Jar podcast late last year to discuss the philosophies that can help everyday Australians take charge of their finances. 

One such philosophy is the century-old Kakeibo, the practice of writing down every dollar spent. 

“There are two really important reasons to go about doing this,” Mr Caneva said.

“One is that you become far more connected to where your money's actually going. 

“And the other part is, it's quite preventative … you're then conscious of the fact that I might need to look back [on your purchases].” 

Another way to be more mindful of your spending in 2024 is to focus on what makes you happy. 

We know money doesn’t always equal happiness, and it's the same for purchases. 

By contemplating whether a purchase will make you happier, consumers can cut their spending by as much as 25%, the expert said.

The final financial ‘hack’ Mr Caneva recommends is to wait before purchasing. 

If you see something you fancy, write it down (including its price) and begin to create a list. 

After waiting for a period of time, glance back at your list and decide whether you actually want all the items you’ve written down.

Such a habit can effectively block impulse purchases and could potentially save a person thousands of dollars over the course of this year.

Image by Andreas Rasmussen on Unsplash.