Happy New Year! We’ve survived the first week of the brand-new year! 😂 Or if you’re like my household, you’ve barely survived, but hey, it is what it is! And since the New Year is the time of making resolutions and setting goals for the year, I thought I’d give you some financial goal ideas. (If you missed it, I just shared our 2022 Spending and Budget Review here.)
Now please keep in mind these are ideas. You are not meant to do all of these. In fact, maybe none of these are right for you and for your family. My goal is to give you a hopeful nudge in the direction of achieving your financial goals (and if you need more help after reading this post, make sure to check out my book from your local library!).
Financial Goal Ideas for 2023
1. Be Able to Live on Less than You Earn – No Matter What
This goal idea is really a work in progress and will always be. But I believe it’s an important goal worth going after over and over again. After all, the single best way to make sure you are managing money well (and it’s not managing you) is to make sure that you’re living on less than you earn. Period. It doesn’t matter if a millionaire or someone struggling to make a living wage. If you can learn to live on less than you earn, you always be in the green no matter what.
2. Have a Well-Stocked Emergency Fund
It doesn’t matter what the economy looks like. It doesn’t matter if the economy really crashes in 2023 or if it recovers and soars. If you don’t have a well-stocked Emergency Fund navigating challenging and even really amazing economic times will be ten times, if not more harder. Your Emergency Fund is your safety net. Treat it as such. If you have a fully-funded Emergency Fund, I suggest you review it to make sure that with inflation, you still feel comfortable with the amount you have saved. If you don’t yet have your Starter Emergency Fund, today is the day to start building it! (I just saw that the bank we keep our Emergency Fund just raised their APY again to 4.05%! Head here to check out CIT Bank.)
3. Get Out of Debt
I have to be honest with you. My family would not have financially survived the onslaught at the beginning of the Pandemic had it not been for our Emergency Fund and us being debt-free. Plain and simple. My husband’s business went several weeks without work. Then when they started working again, it was a struggle to keep jobs going with supply shortages and lumber prices through the roof (my husband is a contractor). There’s absolutely no way we’d have weathered that storm in the early days of our marriage. That’s why you not only need an Emergency Fund, but you need to get out of debt.
- Getting out of debt means you are fully in control of your income. You will give yourself the biggest pay raise you’ve ever had when you become debt-free! Trust me!
- You will have more money to save (build-up that Emergency Fund) and invest with when you are no longer making debt payments.
- The freedom from stress and worry over money is unlike anything else. It’s hard to describe but trust me – it’s freeing when you no longer owe anyone anything.
4. Plan for Retirement
Do you know if you have a 401(k) at work? What about an employer match? If you don’t know, now is the time to figure it out! And if you don’t have any retirement savings vehicles like a 401(k) or Roth IRA, it’s time to open one! You can get started investing at Fidelity with very little money! So if you don’t have much to contribute to a Roth IRA right now, I’d highly suggest opening an account with Fidelity and starting there. Even if maxing out contributions isn’t something achievable this year due to other more priority goals, it should be something that you’re working towards. After all, we’re all getting older whether we like it or not, and one day, our 50 or 80-year-old self is going to be really proud of our 35-year-old self for taking care of them.
5. Have Enough Insurance
Do you have life insurance? Serious question. If you have children or anyone that depends upon you, you absolutely need Term Life Insurance. Even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you need life insurance. Why? Because if something happens to you tomorrow, your working spouse now has to pay for the childcare that you were providing. Not to mention your burial or cremation. And if you’re divorced but depend on your ex for child support or alimony, I’d highly recommend not just getting a Term Life Insurance policy on yourself but one on your ex as well. After all, if something happened to them, you don’t want to be left scrambling to make up the difference from the loss of the alimony or child support that you were receiving.
6. Get Rid of Bad Spending Habits
Next week’s blog post is going to be very real. I’m going to show you just how much I overspent (yes, me, the Saver overspent) last year. We all have spending habits, even the Savers. Some habits are good, and others are not. Sometimes good habits can become bad habits. And for me, I developed a very horrible habit of buying things on Amazon – yes, many were things we needed but honestly, sometimes, if I had just hit the pause button and waited, I would have found a way to do without that thing.
So if you haven’t done an annual spending and budget review, make that priority. Allow it to show you where the weaknesses fall so you and your family can make the positive changes that are necessary in 2023.
Alright! Which goals are you going to be working towards in 2023?
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