Are you ready for a new you in the new year? If you’re settling on a New Year’s resolution related to financial planning, you’re in good company: A Wallethub survey found 92 million Americans made a money-related resolution for 2022. There’s no question that issues with how to manage money can cause stress, with 66% of respondents to the “Stress in America 2022” poll conducted for the American Psychological Association citing it as a significant stressor. And that can have detrimental effects; in fact, you might be surprised to learn that your financial health can influence your physical and mental health.
Are you ready to gain the financial confidence and related wellness benefits you deserve?
Make your 2023 financial resolutions a reality by approaching them with an organized, planned-out approach. Below are 23 financial tips to help you gain better peace of mind in January and throughout the year.
- Set long- and short-term goals to manage money better. Think through what milestones are coming up this year (A wedding? Vacation?) and what your future will hold (A down payment on a house? Investing for a comfortable retirement?) to make sure you’re focusing on both today and tomorrow.
- Make your partner part of your money conversation. Discuss your savings/spending personalities and find a compromise that works for both of you to manage money as a team.
- Open savings accounts dedicated to various goals so you can more easily track progress. Take advantage of high interest rates to earn even more on the money you’re investing.
- Fund an emergency account. Setting aside money for an unexpected expense—like a health bill or car repair—can give you peace of mind. Ideally you should keep building this account as a cushion should you lose your job.
- Develop a budget. By knowing where your money is going each month, you can set mindful financial planning goals.
- Call all your service providers to see if you can get a reduction in your WiFi, cell service, insurance, etc. A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Track your budget on an ongoing basis so you can evaluate where you need to readjust for better financial planning. Your necessities could change over time, so make sure you are revisiting your budget regularly.
- Download the Valley Mobile Banking App to make it easy to take care of routine banking tasks on the go.
- Regularly check your bank balance to help stay on track with your monthly budget goals. Your app can help you here, too.
- Set up automatic billing to ensure you never miss a payment, which can ding your credit score and make it more challenging to get attractive rates on a loan.
- And set up direct deposit to ensure your paycheck is available to access immediately.
- Check your credit score for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. A strong credit score allows you to take advantage of better credit card terms and loan interest rates. Find out more about how to improve your credit score here.
- Tackle debt by paying more than the minimum payment on your credit cards. If you have accumulated debt, you’re not alone…overall debt rose 15% in the third quarter of 2022 compared with 2021—the largest year-over-year increase in more than 20 years.
- Choose the credit cards that are right for you, such as finding one with a low introductory interest rate that can help you pay down debt faster.
- Keep your accounts secure. Valley offers a numbers of security and fraud prevention features you can take advantage of, like biometric login with fingerprint and face ID technology and alerts and notifications when there’s account activity.
- Stay abreast of the status of your student loans. Because student loan relief has been temporarily blocked, the student loan repayment freeze has been extended at least until 60 days after the litigation is resolved, but you’ll want to be prepared when payments are once again expected.
- Try a buy-nothing weekend to make savings a game.
- Start a list of “free” treats you can use to reward yourself. Try to move beyond equating a reward with money.
- Commit to never making a purchase without mulling it over for 24 hours. More often than not, the excitement fades, and that’s money saved.
- If you get a refund when you pay your taxes, you might be having too much money withheld. Instead you could use it for monthly investing or to pay down debts.
- Choose one habit to replace with a less costly one. For example, bring your afternoon snack to work rather than hitting the vending machine. Apply the savings to a fun short-term goal or long-term investing.
- Take advantage of your workplace benefits. Many companies subsidize transit passes, gym memberships and much more if you only ask.
- Opt in to a retirement savings plan at your workplace. Save at least up to the free match if your company offers one to give your investing a boost.
With these 23 tips, you’re well on your way to a more financially confident start to the year. For more insights and financial planning tips, visit the Valley Learning Center today.