The 5 Most Profitable New Year's Resolutions for Millennials

By Jen Williamson Updated on May 7, 2019

Want to improve your finances in the New Year? You aren’t alone. Financial resolutions are among the most common, with people resolving to get out of debt, save more money, and clean up their spending.

But “spend less” and “save more” may not cut it. Most people don’t keep their New Years resolutions—not from lack of willpower, but because they don’t have concrete ideas about how to keep them.


Fear not—here’s a list of specific money-centric New Year’s resolutions that will help you make 2018 the most profitable yet.

1. Have a “no spend” day once a week

Incorporate one day a week where you pack lunch instead of buying it, skip the mid-afternoon Diet Coke from the deli, and get creative with the groceries already in your fridge rather than buying more.

You could save a surprising amount this way. For instance, if you’re in the habit of spending about $10 a day on lunch at work, you could save $480 a year by skipping the restaurant meal once a week. And that’s just one thing you might buy in a typical day.

2. Refinance your student loans

If you have student loans and you haven’t refinanced, you’re leaving money on the table. Our own data shows that people who refinanced saved an average of $259 per month and $19,231 over the life of the loan. That’s much more effective than giving up your daily latte habit.

Speaking of which…

3. Give up your daily latte habit

It might not be as effective as refinancing, but have you ever considered those little daily indulgences that seem inexpensive in the moment—but add up over the long term?

For instance, let’s say you spend $4 on a latte every morning before work. That’s $80 a month, and $960 a year. You could buy a plane ticket for that much. And no doubt that’s not the only little indulgence in your life. It could be well worth your time to do an “indulgence audit” and pick out a few you could do without.

Imagine Life Without a Student Loan Payment... Start Saving Now!

4. Increase your retirement fund contributions 

If you have a retirement account, consider upping your payment. And if your employer offers to match your contribution, make sure you’re taking advantage of that.

Doing this for just one year could boost your retirement savings by thousands of dollars—or more—over the course of that year. And as the interest compounds, this resolution can keep paying off for years to come.

If you don’t have a retirement account, it’s never too late to get started. Make that your New Year’s resolution, and your older self will thank you.

5. Automate your savings

If your employer has direct deposit, you may have the option to automatically distribute a certain amount into a savings account every month. You can also set your retirement account to deduct a set amount each month.

Even better—refinance your student loans. Then supercharge your savings by siphoning the amount you save automatically into your savings or retirement account. You’re already used to spending that much every month on your loans, so your finances won’t feel a pinch.

Is refinancing right for you? Use our Refi Ready tool to find out how much you could save. 

About the Author
Jen Williamson

Jen Williamson is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She has written for a variety of industries, including software, education, business, and personal finance. Prior to that, she worked at an adult literacy nonprofit in Philadelphia, where she coached nontraditional students in passing the GED test and applying for college. When she isn’t writing or reading—which is rare—she can usually be found planning her next travel adventure, training for a marathon, or sneaking in somewhere she’s not supposed to be. Read more by Jen Williamson