Financial New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Goals for 2023
Hitting the gym. Reading 20 new books. Calling Grandma more often. These are all admirable New Year’s resolutions! But have you given any thought to your financial New Year’s resolutions? The team at Commas is here to offer our top ten most important financial goals for the new year.
These financial New Year’s resolutions are timeless tips to improving financial health.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #1: Get better at budgeting
- The key to this financial New Year’s resolution lies in following through on your promises to your future self. Spending less and saving more in the new year will help you manage your budget.
When in doubt, use the 50-30-20 rule. That is, you should allocate 50% of your budget to essentials, 30% for fun, and 20% to savings.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #2: Max out your 401K contributions
- At a minimum, you want to be contributing enough to get the full match from your employer. If possible, try to max out your 401k or employer plan at the annual limit of $22,500.
Our introduction to retirement investment accounts can help identify which method of savings is right for you.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #3: Automate your savings
- Set up your accounts so that part of your paycheck automatically goes to a savings or investment account before you have a chance to spend it. You might also consider setting up different savings accounts for different goals. For example, an emergency fund account (which should be a top priority) can be separate from your vacation planning account.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #4: Update your estate plan and will
- Ensuring your estate plan and will are up-to-date relieves the burden of making difficult decisions in a crisis. If estate planning feels overwhelming, start small by creating a list of your personal and financial information and accounts, as well as your passwords, and put them all in a secure place. Then start asking around for attorney recommendations.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #5: Talk to your kids about finances
- If you have younger children, you might offer an allowance to help them start understanding financial basics like spending, saving, and giving. As your kids grow into teenagers, conversations shift to managing money earned at a job, saving for college, or filing taxes. Talking about money with kids of any age shows you’re comfortable discussing finances with them—and opens the door for them to come to you with financial questions.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #6: Read (or listen to) a great book
- Use some time this year to explore literature on financial management, investing, and market history. We particularly recommend The Investment Answer, The Opposite of Spoiled, and The Millionaire Next Door.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #7: Track all your charitable giving
- With some smart planning, you can increase your charitable giving by using available tax benefits. By taking time to educate yourself on the benefits of charitable giving (our blog post can help), you can gift more by gifting smarter. You can build on this financial New Year’s resolution by considering a donor-advised fund (DAF).
Financial New Year’s Resolution #8: Stop watching CNBC
- Today’s news might seem urgent, the markets may fall, but it’s the long-term view that matters most when it comes to investing. The markets reward discipline and resilience, so tread cautiously before acting on what you hear in the media. (Our post on Maintaining Confidence When Times Get Tough offers some tips on how to ride the market waves.)
Financial New Year’s Resolution #9: Don’t wait until April to do your tax planning
- Rather than waiting until the last minute to scrounge up paperwork, spend some time thinking ahead about what you’ll need to file your taxes. This mindset may also end up saving you money, as some tax benefits can be gained by making certain donations or contributions by December 31. Add this bonus financial New Year’s resolution: create a file system (if you don’t already have one) to keep your tax paperwork handy throughout the year.
Financial New Year’s Resolution #10: Connect with a financial advisor
- Meeting with a financial advisor can help you organize your financial portfolio, set goals, invest confidently, and stay on track, leaving you with peace of mind.
Worry less about money, and spend more time being present to the people you love this holiday season. With the team at Commas on deck to help, your financial New Year’s resolutions are a phone call, email, or chat away.
Commas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Truepoint Inc., a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser (RIA). Registration as an adviser does not connote a specific level of skill or training. More detail, including forms ADV Part 2A and Form CRS filed with the SEC, can be found at www.usecommas.com. Neither the information, nor any opinion expressed, is to be construed as personalized investment, tax or legal advice. The accuracy and completeness of information presented from third-party sources cannot be guaranteed.