Accountability is the key to getting solutions back on track. Research shows that people who establish a way to write down their goals and track their progress are twice as likely to achieve them. Large companies have known this for some time, and their SMART is a well-known acronym designed to help employees achieve specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. I am putting my goals into practice. Tracking SMART goals may be too much red tape for the average consumer, but finding a system to track your success in achieving your financial goals can pay off.
Fortunately, recent advances in technology (primarily access to smartphones) have made it possible for individuals to measure many of the tangible goals they can achieve in 2024. Unfortunately, for some solution planners, the effectiveness of tracking savings and spending through financial smartphone apps continues to lag. Fitness apps on the same device. Steps and weight measurements can be tracked more reliably than spending from multiple accounts for his morning coffee and other ad-hoc purchases he makes throughout the day. And resolutions are often made or broken on a micro level, like counting steps, calories, or pennies.
Regardless of its effectiveness, it’s clear that some technical responsibility is required in tracking fitness and financial goals. A November 2023 Forbes survey of consumers found that while improving your finances was a highly popular resolution, it was the second most popular New Year’s goal after improving your fitness.
Tracking your household finances may not be as seamless as tracking mileage splits on a smartwatch, but financial planners and economists have been studying consumer savings behavior for years. In fact, behavioral economics shows that by implementing automatic annual savings increases in many 401(k) and other workplace retirement savings plans, most workers today are oblivious to the amount they save for retirement. It may already be having a positive impact on us.
When it comes to credit, establishing a pattern of on-time payments is the best way to improve your score.
The finding that more people monitor their physical activity more frequently than their credit score makes some sense. After all, most consumers’ credit scores probably don’t change as often as, say, their step count. Additionally, not all consumers need new credit in the short or medium term, so they may check their credit scores less often.
methodology: The analysis provided is based on a statistically relevant aggregate sampling of consumer credit databases produced by Experian and may include the use of the FICO Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may yield different results compared to other similar analyses. The credit data analyzed did not contain any personally identifying information. Metropolitan areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for purposes of census and related statistical data compilation.
this story produced by Experian Reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.