Now is the perfect time to set some financial goals for the coming 12 months and plan precisely how you will achieve them. If you’re anything like most people, your work-life balance probably feels a little off in this crazy economy. There always needs to be more hours in the day and more money in the account for everything we need to do. That is even more apparent as we head into another hectic season filled with parties, presents, and many family get-togethers. Now is an excellent time to take stock of your current situation and create a plan moving forward into 2023
Establish a Budget and Stick to It
Let’s start with the basics. It’s time to get your spending under control. Whether you go with the legal pad or spreadsheet or try a more modern cash flow management solution like YNAB, there is no better time than the present to get serious about balancing your books. If you’re going to win with finances, you’ve got to know where your money is going. If you’ve ever found yourself drowning in credit card debt, you know how important it is to get a hold of your spending. Now is the ideal time to rein things in and get your finances on track so that you can sleep a little better at night and start setting money aside for your future financial goals.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt becomes a massive burden if left unchecked. If you’re carrying a balance on one or more of your credit cards, now is the best time to get serious about paying it off. You don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of online forums and support groups where people are helping each other reach debt freedom. You can find plenty of people in the same boat as you who can offer advice, encouragement, and resources to help you get out of debt. Check out Ramsey Solutions’ Financial Peace.
Invest in Your Career
Now is a great time to start researching ways that you can invest in your career to ensure that you always have a reliable stream of income. Here are a few ways to invest in your career: – Find a Mentor – Mentors are often the unsung heroes of the business world. Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with aspiring professionals, but mentors also provide valuable professional connections that can make all the difference for your career in the long run. – Invest in Your Education – There are plenty of ways to return to school and earn a degree or certification that can set you apart from the competition in your industry. Not only will you benefit from the knowledge acquired in the process, but many employers will pay for your education as a part of their employee benefits package. – Start Your Own Business – If your job needs to provide the kind of long-term stability that you’re looking for, consider starting your own business.
Living paycheck to paycheck can significantly burden your finances, even if you’re debt-free. There are plenty of ways to save money, and a savings account is just one of them. If you find yourself dipping into your savings every month, it’s time to stop and reassess how you manage your money. The ideal savings percentage for financial experts ranges between 8-15%. While that’s a lot of money to put into savings, it’s essential to remember that it’s better to have a little bit of extra cash on hand than to go into debt because you have to pay for a significant emergency out of your pocket. If you already have an emergency fund, ensure you put your extra savings to work. Utilize employee-sponsored retirement plans by maxing out the employer match. Once you’ve maxed out the employer match, put money to work by investing in Index Funds inside a Roth IRA.
Start Checking Off Bucket List
If you’ve ever written a bucket list, now is the time to get serious about checking off the items on your list. It doesn’t matter what kind of list you’re creating, either. It could be anything from visiting every country to running a marathon. No matter your list now is the perfect time to get serious about crossing things off. If all your dreams are someday, staying motivated to work your plan is almost impossible. Start checking some things off your bucket list in 2023. When you do, you will be surprised by how motivated you are to stick with your financial plan. You’ll be glad you did when you look back on your life.
Start a Side Hustle
If you have a skill that you’re particularly good at, now is the time to monetize it. There are plenty of ways to make money by becoming an expert in something. You can start a blog, offer your services to local businesses or even find ways to teach what you know through online classes. Not only will you be able to set up a consistent source of income, but you’ll also be able to gain a new level of confidence in yourself. That’s something that money can’t buy. If you want to make the most of your time in the coming year, you’ll need to stay organized and on top of your ever-growing to-do list. Use these six goals as your inspiration to keep on track.
There is no better time to get serious about your finances than the present. Whether you take the more traditional budgeting approach or use a more modern cash flow management solution like YNAB, there is no better time than the present to get serious about balancing your books. Now is the ideal time to rein things in, get your finances on track, and start setting money aside for your future financial goals. Doing these six things next year will move you closer to your financial goals. Making time for your purposes and sticking to the plan will help you make the most of the time and money you have during the holidays and into the new year.