As we turn our calendars to another new year, many of our tried and true ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ have made their way back to the top of our minds. A recent Forbes Health/One Poll survey of Americans found that improved finances is the second most popular goal, with 38% of survey respondents selecting it as their top choice. If you are one of many who resolve to improve their financial well-being in 2024 and beyond, here are some helpful tips to achieving your financial goals!
Create + Follow a Practical Budget
A well-planned budget is a great foundation for improving financial well-being, so start your new year by putting together a detailed, practical budget. Making your budget realistic and starting with minor changes can help you maintain budget discipline, and documenting as many of your expenses as possible will allow you to better identify your needs and wants. For example, a daily cup of coffee could run you $100 a month, but if it isn’t realistic for you to cut it out completely, work a budget with having your home brew two to three times a week. If you need help getting started on building your budget, click here to check out this 5-minute e-learning course on creating a budget.
Make Paying Yourself a Priority
Often times we overlook the most important payment we need to make every month: our own personal savings. Building a regular and consistent savings account payment into our financial plans is essential to improving financial well-being. This is especially important for having funds to cover an emergency expense, which often turns our budgets upside down. In June of 2023, a study by Bankrate.com found that 57% of U.S. Adults are uncomfortable with the amount of savings they have in case of an emergency, so if you find yourself feeling the same, the solution is simple: pay yourself first!
Gamify Your Savings
We all love a fun, healthy competition, so creating a game or contest for your savings goals is a great way to achieve your financial well-being goals. There are all different types of savings challenges and games you can start up in 2024, like the 365-Day Nickle Savings challenge (put a Nickle in a jar day 1 and double your jar deposit every day for the year, saving $3,339.75) or the 52-week savings challenge (save $1 week one, $2 week two, all the way to $52 the last week of the year for a total of $1,378). Pick a challenge and win the game of savings!
Find an Accountability Partner
Just like many of us find a “gym buddy” to help with fitness-related goals, having a friend to embark on a financial well-being journey alongside you is a great way to stick with your plans. Working with someone you trust and holds you accountable to your savings goals is a great way to maintain your focus and avoid some of the pitfalls that take us off a good financial track. More importantly, you’ll have someone alongside you to celebrate your savings success, which will boost your motivation to save even more.
Utilize Your Resources These and all of your other savings goals and other financial well-being aspirations can feel overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are tons of free resources and tools available to you to help guide you along your journey. From e-learning courses to digital personal finance tools, sometimes getting the assistance you need is as simple as knowing where to look – or who to ask. Lucky for you, the team at Navigant Credit Union is ready to help you find the right tools and resources you need in order to improve your financial well-being in 2024.