New Years Financial Resolutions You Can Actually Keep
January 19, 2023
January always presents an opportunity to make new resolutions to make improvements in our lives. When it comes to your finances, the New Year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Choosing the right resolutions for you can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2023 off right.
Stick to Your Budget
A good first financial resolution is to make 2023 the year you establish and stick to a budget.
A budget is a plan for using your money based on priorities you identify and choices you make. Setting financial goals and incorporating them into a budget results in smarter spending choices.
Prioritize your monthly spending by making a list from necessities to wants. For example, buying groceries and paying your mortgage or rent and utility bills are necessities, but eating out weekly is not — even though you might want to.
Next, subtract those expenses from your net income, which is your income after taxes and deductions. Then, identify your financial goals and add them into your budget. Your goals might include saving for an upcoming vacation or for a down payment on a car or home.
Pay Off Debt
If your credit is good, consider consolidating credit card debt to a lower interest rate loan or refinancing your car or home loan. This could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the term of your loan.
You can also avalanche your debt by paying extra toward the credit card with the highest interest rate, while paying the minimum on other debt. Then, once it’s paid off, pay more toward the debt with the next highest interest rate, and so on until your debt is gone.
Start an Emergency Fund
According to bankrate.com, 58% of Americans are concerned about the amount they have in emergency savings. A good rule is to have an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of expenses. To determine how much you need, calculate your living expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities, groceries, and vehicle costs. Then, start with an attainable goal and build from there until you can cover your living expenses for at least three months.
A robust emergency fund can protect you against unexpected expenses, and it helps you from accumulating more debt. Remember: this money is for emergencies only, so it’s important you don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary.
MSUFCU has a variety of products and services to help you manage your finances. Our knowledgeable employees can help you with your budget and discuss whether a debt consolidation or loan refinance makes sense for your current financial situation.
To assist in starting an emergency fund, our Savings BuilderSM account helps you establish savings faster by paying you higher dividends on your initial contributions. This is different from traditional savings accounts that require you to deposit more to earn the higher rate. To learn more, visit msufcu.org/savingsbuilder.