The new year is a fantastic time to reflect on aspects of our lives that we’d like to change or improve upon in the months ahead. Maybe you want to lose weight, drink less, travel more, improve your personal relationships, make a career change, or simply reduce stress. Whatever you resolve to pursue or improve in the year ahead, one thing you can do now to help you get on track toward accomplishing your goals, and keep you on track for years to come, is to draft out a New Year’s financial plan.
By outlining your goals with a financial plan, you can reduce financial stress and begin roadmapping your way to a healthy financial future. It may not be easy to stick with your financial New Year’s resolutions, but the best way to ensure you meet your financial goals, in any year, is to set up good routines and habits that ensure your success.
Use this comprehensive Chime guide to save money, reach your goals, and prepare your finances for the new year and beyond.
- Step 1: Set obtainable goals and stick with them
- Step 2: Make budgeting and saving for the future a priority
- Step 3: Perform regular financial health checks
Step 1: Set obtainable goals and stick with them
Take advantage of the energy a new year brings to set personal milestones. The earlier you start making smart financial planning moves, the more time you’ll have to benefit from their impact.
While New Year’s resolutions are a good start, setting goals may be more effective in the long run. The difference between a resolution and a goal is the planning and augmentation needed to achieve your objective. Goals provide direction, motivation, and a clear way to measure your progress. Without goals, you may struggle to find the path from where you are right now to where you want to be.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process. Here are some Chime articles that easily break down how to start goal setting for the new year, including tips and action items that you can apply to this year and beyond.
Setting and keeping goals all starts with our mindset. When we establish a healthy mindset around saving, spending, and handling money, it has a direct positive impact on our ability to achieve our goals. Find out how to adjust your money mindset.
Committing and recommitting to your financial goals can be as simple as making sure your resolutions are personal to you, writing down your action steps, and automating your finances. Read more on how to increase your chances of success this year.
Push yourself beyond wishful resolutions into achieving tangible outcomes. Make your goal setting as efficient as possible by setting intentions to guide your actions throughout the year. Learn more about intentions and how they can lead to personal growth and financial wealth.
Resolutions on their own are meaningless, if you don’t have a plan in place to gradually change your habits. Ensure success this year and beyond, by giving yourself the time you need to make a change.
Step 2: Make budgeting and saving for the future a priority
Budgeting and saving should be at the top of your goal list for the new year. A comprehensive budget and savings plan can be the most valuable tool you have for managing your finances.
A detailed budget can help you visualize and understand where you are spending your money. Are you saving enough? Are you living beyond your means? Once you set up your budget, you will have a better understanding of the lifestyle you can afford and if you need to cut back in some areas.
A budget will help you determine how much money you need to cover basic expenses and how much is left for discretionary spending, while saving will better prepare you for the future. You should strive to save at least 20% of your income each month. Saving can be as simple as opening a high-interest savings account or switching to an online account with no hidden fees. By establishing a savings habit now, you are opening the doors for what you can do in later years.
If you are struggling to find ways to budget and save for the new year, check out the following Chime articles:
Reach your savings goals by setting an intention, designing a system, and holding yourself accountable. Read more on how to build a new money habit that works with your lifestyle.
A 52-week savings challenge can help boost your bank account and get you closer to your money goals. Take a look at how to kick-start your finances with the savings challenge.
Working a side hustle can be an effective way to rake in extra cash in addition to your full-time job, and help you build upon your savings for the new year. Learn more about boosting your savings with side hustle money.
Lower your bills for next year by exploring these money-saving apps and websites that are designed to help you make better decisions about your personal finances. Check out how to give your bills a fresh makeover before and after the new year.
Step 3: Perform regular financial health checks
Don’t wait till the end of the year to start financial planning. Make healthy financial choices a regular practice, all year-round.
Set a time periodically to look at your financial health, so you can gauge how your finances are doing. When you see you are making progress toward accomplishing your goals, it’s a huge motivator to keep going. Make tweaks to your plan as you see fit and check back in with your budget as well.
Taking charge of your financial goals is empowering, and a great way to kick-start the new year.