5 Financial Goals To Ring In 2024
With a new year comes new opportunities. What kind of financial goals are you setting?
Maybe you plan to buy a new home. Or sell a home! Perhaps you’ve decided to begin saving for retirement in earnest or you want to begin a more aggressive investment strategy. Financial goals might include saving more, spending less, reducing debt, and looking for new opportunities to make your money work for you.
However you expect to manage your money in 2024, we want to make sure you’re prepared.
Here are 5 financial goals to ring in 2024.
- Build Real Wealth In 2024
Saving money is an important financial goal, and it’s an easy one to throw out there. Everyone wants to save more. Think beyond a basic savings account, however, and look for ways to really build your wealth in 2024.
The savings account you open at your bank or credit union doesn’t offer you much in terms of incentives. Consider moving your savings into a high-yield money market account, which has great interest rates while keeping your money accessible should you need it. If you don’t think you’ll need to access your savings, consider a certificate of deposit (COD).
You can also build real wealth by looking for multiple income streams. The 9-5 job you have may allow you to pay your bills and have some fun, but when you really want to save some money and build up a nest egg that’s worth bragging about, you need to increase your earnings. Consider side hustles, extra hours, or tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and come up with a way to monetize your passions. Invest in real estate. Open a brokerage account. Instead of setting a goal that simply says “save money,” challenge yourself to build wealth.
- Spend Wisely In 2023
Towards the end of 2022, the Consumer Price Index showed that Americans paid more for housing, food, and energy over the year. To reduce what you spend on the things you don’t need, you’ll have to be strategic in 2023.
You want to keep expenses down so that you can continue to save and build wealth. Paying more for basic necessities is rarely negotiable, and you have to make sure your budget can withstand the higher price tags you’re likely to find in the next year.
Reign in your spending by keeping a close eye on where your money goes. Download personal finance software that will not only allow you to see what you’re spending, but where you’re spending it.
Some of the financial goals you set when it comes to spending will be easy. If you’re eating dinner out five nights a week, cut back to two nights a week. If you’re paying for all the premium cable channels and platforms, decide on a few favorites and let the others go. Give up the gym membership if you’re not going consistently and start running or lifting your own weights at home. Hold off on upgrading to the new phone.
It always seems like a sacrifice when you have to give something up, but by controlling what you spend, you’re getting something in return: more money.
- Reduce Your Debt In The New Year
If you’re like most Americans, you have several thousands of dollars of debt. Maybe it’s student loan debt, medical debt, or consumer debt. In 2023, a great financial goal would be to pay that debt off entirely. When that doesn’t seem possible, take some steps to reduce the amount of debt you’re carrying, and work hard at not taking on new debt.
Several strategies can be employed to dial down what you owe. Start paying more than the monthly minimum on credit card bills, car loans, and other payments. Negotiate lower interest rates if you can. When you’ve been with a credit card company for more than a decade, they’ll want to keep your business. If you’ve made on-time payments and been a good customer, see what they’ll do for you.
The sooner you pay off your existing debt, the healthier you’ll feel financially. It puts you in a stronger position to save more and use your money for more important and profitable endeavors.
- Shore Up The Emergency Fund
You’re hoping for the best in 2023, and it’s hard to think about the what-if scenarios, but emergencies can happen. In fact they will happen, and you need to be prepared. An emergency fund is critical, and this is the year you want to fully fund it. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 24 percent of American consumers don’t have an emergency fund.
That’s dangerous. Your goal can be reached by automatically contributing to this emergency fund with every paycheck. Make sure a set amount or a percentage of your salary gets deposited into your emergency fund before you even have access to the rest of that paycheck. You might not need it in 2023, but it will give you peace of mind to have it ready.
- Upgrade Your Financial Know-How And Technology
Educating yourself is always a good idea. Make this one of your financial goals in 2023 – to understand money better. When you surround yourself with experts and you’re willing to invest time and resources into learning more about how to save, where to invest, and what to do differently, you’ll find that building wealth and feeling financially secure comes a lot more naturally.
Learn best practices for how to manage your money. Take some classes. Subscribe to newsletters. Download an app or some reliable personal finance software.
Decide where you want to focus your learning. Maybe you want to be a better investor. Perhaps buying up rental properties is a goal for the future. It’s possible you’re looking at how to send a child to college or retire early. Learn everything you can about that subject. When you become an expert, you can help others after you’ve helped yourself.
Go get those goals. There’s still enough time to plan for a profitable and positive 2023.