Making Cents: Resolve. Resolute. Resolution

Writer / Kate Rhoten

The turn of the year brings these words to the forefront of our mind. We include them in our vocabulary more so at the end or start of a year.

These are similar words and the definitions build on each one. Here’s a quick reference of their definitions from

Resolve: (verb) To find a resolution to (a problem). To solve again.
(noun) Determination, will power.

Resolute: (adjective) Firm, unyielding, determined.

Resolution: (noun) A strong will, determination. The state of being resolute.

As we take inventory of 2014, we recall our experiences, the good, the bad and possibly one we wish we could forget. What did we resolve to do in 2014? Were we successful?

Now we are in 2015. Did we make a resolution for 2015? Better diet? Work out more? Spend less, save more? It doesn’t matter what we resolve to do, it’s whether we truly have the determination to follow through on that commitment.

When we make resolutions, we should be realistic with what we actually can do. Stretch the goal a little but not too far, where it becomes unattainable. If you establish a goal or resolution that is broad or undefined, it will be difficult to measure your progress. The resolution will be null and void before the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Does this sound familiar? Your goal must me be measurable and attainable. No one likes feeling as if they fell short and let someone down. Why do we do that to ourselves?

I am not sure what my resolution(s) would be for 2015 while writing this column, but I do know one. Our family is discussing what we want to do for vacations over the next couple of years. The places we would like to see, the experiences we would like to share and the memories to create before our kids are out of school.

To that end, I resolve to save more specifically for the vacations we want to enjoy. Here’s the plan that I am going to use for 2015. You may have seen this plan before. It’s simple and it takes a step each week toward and lasts all year.

The week number of the year determines the dollars to save. Week 1 = $1, week 21 = $21, week 46 = $46 and so on. If we want to have these experiences, we need to be more aggressive than that. The twist is we will multiply our savings amount by the number of people in our home, which is 4. Now that makes week 21’s contribution to savings to $84 and week 46 would be $184.

I will create a way to measure this on my site as well as add a postscript to my column on occasion. I hope you will consider creating your own savings plan, but customize it to fit your household needs.

Determine what will be the purpose of the plan. Is it to fund an emergency account or college? It’s a good way to make savings a focus in your weekly plan and planning how to spend your paycheck.

We resolved a problem (the desire to travel more) and now we have a plan. We will need to be resolute in achieving the goal. Best wishes to all and the resolutions of 2015; may they all be achieved. Cheers!

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