It’s never too early to start thinking about the financial goals you want to reach in the new year. It’s a great time to commit to your money goals, budget better, pay down debt, ditch bad habits, and improve your financial picture. So consider making these five financial New Year’s resolutions if you want 2023 to be a better year for your money.
- Budget, budget, budget!
Your entire year’s financial success likely rests on having a decent budget. So one crucial financial resolution for 2023 should be putting together a financial plan of your income, expenses, and investments.
If you’re discouraged by the idea of being buried in data and can’t afford an accountant, write it all down to get a clear picture. Or there are many personal finance websites and apps can help with budgeting. But you can’t argue with a resolution like budgeting.
- Save something every month
One thing that should go in your budget is how much you plan to put away in an emergency fund or savings account – or both.
A new year’s resolution should always include saving every month regardless of the amount. If you’re struggling with how to save money, place your spare change on each debit card or credit card transaction into a separate savings account. You will be surprised how quickly all that spare change can add up.
- Pay yourself first
Paying yourself first generally means “paying” your future self money. It’s essential to do it first because if you pay yourself last, chances are you won’t pay yourself at all. An easy way to pay yourself first is by contributing to a 401(k), especially if your employer offers matching contributions. Paying yourself first can also mean putting money into a savings account or an emergency fund before paying for other expenses.
- Evaluate your eating-out budget
This one is hard with so many good places to eat. Of course, you could always cook more. But, eating out three to four times a week could easily add up to $100 to $200 a week or more. It’s even worse for your budget, of course, if you have kids and are eating or ordering out three to four times a week. But, if the eating out budget was cut in half to $50 to $100 a week, and you placed the money in a savings account at the bank, by the end of 2023 you will have saved $2,600 to $5,200 a year for other needs, goals or dreams.
- Maximize credit card rewards
If you’re in the habit of using a credit card for all your purchases, consider using a credit card that earns rewards on every purchase. Whether it’s cash back, points, travel rewards, etc., there are numerous reward credit cards that fit your spending habits and maximize your rewards.
If you always make saving a priority, it’s more likely to become a habit. Once something becomes a habit, you barely have to think about it.
- Budget, budget, budget!