The new year has finally arrived! Now comes a great time to prepare for the year ahead, which includes getting your finances on track–if they aren’t already. Including financial goals in your new year resolutions will help boost your financial health. Below are just 10 of the many different financial new year resolutions you can make this year, so you can gain more confidence in your money management decisions and significantly decrease money-related stress.
- Set Up Automatic Savings
Setting up automatic savings ensures that you’re saving each week or month. You don’t even have to think about it–funds are automatically transferred right into your savings accounts. Without automatic savings, you may spend your savings, or simply forget to transfer money to your savings.
- Tackle Your Debt
If you’re swamped in debt, you should make it your goal this year to tackle that as much as you can. If you have a lot of credit card debt, it’s a good idea to switch to a low-interest credit card instead. Otherwise, you’re stuck paying a large sum of money on interest, which will slow you down from paying off your debt.
Another option is to consolidate your debt. Debt consolidation is a popular tool that lets you combine all your financial high-interest debt into one, more manageable debt load. Your new consolidated debt option would be easier to pay back because of lower interest rates and the ease of having to only make one payment per month versus multiple.
Deal with your debt this year. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Spend Less Money
Don’t buy as much and you won’t spend as much–sounds easy, right? Not exactly. You need to create a few spending habits, and consciously think about your spendings, in order to save your money properly.
You can do this by taking a look at your budget and seeing where there is room to eliminate certain expenses. Do you pay for subscriptions that you don’t use anymore? Could you dine out less, and make food at home more? Maybe you always end up throwing out your produce because it goes bad–could you buy less groceries? There are always ways that you can cut back on spending.
- Track Your Expenses
Knowing how much you spend helps you stay within your budget. It also helps you understand where your money is going. Do you need to be spending $100 a month on coffee? If you’re not tracking this, you might have no idea that you’re spending too much on coffee. Maybe you can cut down on certain expenses to make room for saving and investing.
- Define your Long-term Financial Goals
It can be difficult to think about what your financial goals are in the long-term. You might be so caught up in the present, worrying about today, that you don’t plan for the future. Having long-term financial goals will help keep you on track everyday, and ensure that your money is working for you.
Your long-term financial goals will differ depending on who you are: how much money you make, what your current financial position is, how much debt you currently have, and more. Goals can include paying off student loans, saving for retirement, paying off your mortgage, saving for a home, making a certain amount of money each year, and more.
You can start by having a monthly, a yearly, a 5 year, and a 10 year goal. Look at these goals often so that they stay in your mind.
- Build an Emergency Fund
Do you have an emergency fund? If not, it might be a good idea to start building one. Emergencies happen, and when they do, you don’t want to be stuck without monetary backup. Emergency funds can be life savers when the unexpected happens, like paying for medical bills, a funeral, car repair, accomodate for the loss of a job, and more.
You can start by calculating how large your emergency fund should be. What are your monthly expenses?This can include things such as your rent or mortgage, utilities, and basic expenses such as groceries. Your emergency fund can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months worth your expenses.
- Take Advantage of Your Credit Card Rewards
Did you know that you can get rewards for everyday spending? Rewards credit cards will give you points each time you make a purchase, and these points can be used for things like travel, groceries, gift cards, or even cash back. Using your credit card for purchases–especially larger ones–have amazing benefits for granting you rewards. You just need to be responsible, buying within your budget, and make sure you’re paying off your credit card each time it’s used.
Taking advantage of your credit card rewards may help you book that trip you’ve always wanted, or go out to a fancy dinner for an anniversary–the options are endless.
- Try Lowering Energy Bills
There are many different ways you can cut down costs on your energy and fuel bills. You can turn down your heat when you’re not home or at night time. Unplug unused appliances, and turn off any lights when you’re not in the room. In the summertime, try not to run your air conditioning as much, and consider purchasing a fan instead. In addition, make sure to utilize off-peak electricity cost hours if applicable.
Having a goal to lower your electricity bills will help you save money in the long run.
- Raise Your Credit Score
Is your credit score not where you want it to be? There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score. If you start working toward this goal now, by the time 2023 is over, your credit score can increase significantly. And with this comes great opportunities, like better credit card offers, a higher chance to be approved for a loan, ability to rent the property you want, get that job, and more.
In order to raise your credit score, you must pay your bills on time, make frequent payments, pay each statement in full, decrease your credit card debt, and ask for credit limit increases. It’s also important to have a good debt to credit utilization ratio. This is the amount of revolving credit you’re currently using, divided by the total amount of revolving credit you have available. It is good to have a credit utilization ratio of 30% or less.
- Prioritize Wellness
This new year can be an opportunity to prioritize your personal and financial wellness, which can be directly correlated. Prioritizing your finances will leave you with less finance-related stress and anxiety.
Using your finances for your personal wellness can be a great return of investment. Getting massages, facials, a gym membership, workout classes, and more will improve your wellbeing. With a positive wellbeing you’re more likely to have better financial health.