Another year has come to an end, and with it comes the tradition of setting intentions and goals for the new one. For many, it’s a time to reevaluate their finances, adjust spending habits, and set new savings goals.
But keeping goals can be challenging, especially financial ones. With so many ways to improve your financial health, prioritizing goals that work best for your particular situation can be extra challenging.
Here’s a list of financial new year’s resolutions that work for most financial situations—and a few ways you can stay on top of them!
4 New Year Financial Resolutions for 2023
Revisit Your Budget
Now’s a great time to evaluate your current budget strategy and see how it’s working for you.
Start by assembling any budget tools you use, along with statements from your checking account, credit card bills, and receipts. Choose a period of time to review, like three months prior.
Once you’ve crunched some numbers, ask yourself a few basic questions:
- Are you able to comfortably pay your bills on time, or are you deferring payments?
- How does your savings account look?
- Are you regularly going over your budget in particular areas, like eating out or entertainment?
Understanding your financial health will help you make future decisions and adjust your spending habits to meet your latest financial goals.
Save (More) for Retirement
Depending on where you are in your life journey, retirement may seem like a far-off reality. It can feel challenging to plan for when more immediate needs come up.
However, it’s never too late to save for your future, even a tiny amount. Pull up your retirement fund and review your contributions. If you use an employer-sponsored 401(k) or similar, check to ensure that you’re maxing out the benefit as best as possible—especially if they offer a match! If you have 401(k)s from previous employers, consider rolling them into an individual retirement account, so you have all your funds in one place.
Work Towards Eliminating Debt
For many, debt is the single biggest hurdle toward financial freedom, whether credit card debt, personal or auto loans, or student loans. An excellent new year financial resolution for this year (or any year!) is to prioritize paying off your debt. Consider increasing the amount you pay off each month or looking into different ways to consolidate your debt.
Prepare for the Unexpected
As we are all painfully aware, after two-plus years of the pandemic, stuff happens, and it’s best to be as prepared as possible for it. One of the easiest ways to prepare yourself for financial hardship—an unexpected medical bill, costly repair, or job loss—is to build an emergency fund. Experts recommend that an emergency fund be able to cover three to six months of expenses. Make it a goal this year to review your emergency fund, or start one fresh!
4 Ways to Keep Your 2023 Financial Goals
Working towards any goal can be a challenge, especially financial ones. Here are a few ways to help yourself stick to your new year’s financial goals for 2023.
Clean Up Spending Habits
If you’re looking for ways to save money for a short-term dream or a long-term investment, cutting back on frivolous spending is a great place to start. When you review your budget, look at your spending habits. Where does your money go aside from the essentials? Are you eating out a lot, buying new clothes every month, or overdoing it on your subscription services? Decide what’s most important to you, then cut back on the rest.
Automate Wherever Possible
When you consciously think about moving money from one account to another, saving money feels much harder. Simplify your savings habit by automating it! Here are two ways you can do this:
- Set an automatic transfer between your checking and savings accounts.
- Adjust your direct deposit to divide your pay between your checking and savings accounts.
And remember to automate your retirement contributions, too!
If you have specific goals in mind, like saving for a new car or paying off your credit card, it helps to set a deadline for yourself. Deadlines can help keep you accountable (if only to yourself) and make the goal feel concrete.
Remember to soak up your successes along the way! Hitting milestones matters, and celebrating yourself and your progress will motivate you to keep striving.
Need a little help setting financial goals? Visit our Financial Advice page and book a consultation with our financial advisor, Dean Eisenbraun.