So, how did you do? You know, with those pesky New Year’s resolutions you began thinking about around this time last year.
Many Americans add some form of a financial objective as part of their new year’s ideas. The most common of these include paying down debt, better budgeting to spend less and save more, and cutting expenses.
The challenge for many people is that saying that you want to do a thing is not the same as planning to do the thing. To increase the likelihood of achieving your financial goals in the new year, take a moment to reflect on what you learned about your personal money habits in 2022. Use that knowledge to your advantage to build a winning financial plan for 2023.
First, start by asking yourself:
Where did you succeed? Where did you win with money? Did you stick to your spending plan? Did you get those credit cards paid off? Did you save for and take that vacation that you needed? Every win counts, no matter how small. Be sure to acknowledge each one.
Where did you not succeed? Facing our missteps can be tough, but it is necessary for growth. Did you eat out more than you planned? Did you use the credit card because you just had to have that new thing? Either way, it’s OK. What is important is that during this time of reflection, you are honest with yourself about why and how you may have stumbled and what steps you can take to improve moving into the new year.
Now that you have your foundation from this year’s lessons, let’s look into next year.
We recommend that you begin with creating a spending plan (budget). Then, take a look at these opportunities that might not be on your financial planning radar:
Prepare for tax season now. Did you have a major life change such as the birth of a child, going back to school or a job/income change? Any of these changes can have a major impact on both your tax liability and how much money you bring home regularly. Use the IRS tax withholding estimator to be sure that you won’t over or underpay in taxes in 2023.
Review your auto insurance. When is the last time you shopped around for coverage? If it’s been a while, now may be the time. Though insurers use similar factors to determine rates, how they weigh those factors may differ which could mean savings for you. Use this insurance comparison tool to begin your search.
Treat yourself. You work hard; you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your effort. Not building pleasures into your financial plans is a quick way to lose interest and hit those missteps. While eating out often is not advised, occasionally eating out is a great way to unwind and relax. There are countless low- or no-cost activities that you can do to have fun (within your budget). But if you need to go on that cruise and you can properly plan, save for it and, if it doesn’t interfere with your other financial goals, GO FOR IT.
ProMedica Financial Wellness Network (FWN) offers free financial coaching in a group and one-on-one setting to people of all zip codes and incomes. All FWN coaches are also trained in the Accenture career success curriculum to assist clients in achieving their employment goals. Sign up for an in-person or virtual financial coaching session. Contact ProMedica Ebeid Center for more information at 567-585-0059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.