Many people set lofty goals every December in the hopes of drastically changing areas of their lives. The reason so many resolutions fall short is that changes must happen over time, with attainable steps. When it comes to your financial goals, there is no way to get rich overnight as soon as the ball drops (unfortunately). However, setting healthy, realistic financial intentions for 2022 can help focus your priorities and set the tone for a fresh year of positive cashflow choices and habits.
Set your financial goals
Instead of listing those lofty, life changing hopes and dreams, start with a few short-term and long-term goals that will help you start taking control of your finances this year. Do you want to adopt a pet? Travel? Buy a house? Some goals may take a month, while others span the next few years. Your intention is simply to start thinking about what you want. Once you write down your goals, you can start working towards them little by little.
Start tracking monthly expenses
It’s all about taking small steps towards financial change. Commit to tracking your expenses one month at a time. You can use a simple Excel spreadsheet to make columns for everything you spend money on. This is NOT meant to stress you out or judge yourself for how you are spending your money. After just a couple months of consistent tracking, you will see your spending habits, and can assess where to cut back and where to add more funds.
Prioritize paying off high-interest debt
It’s one thing to have long-term loans to pay off little by little (like a car payment, for example). But if you have high interest debt that keeps building…this is the year to prioritize paying them off. Credit card debt is something that – as we all know – easily sneaks up and affects future financial decisions. Pinpoint what debts can realistically be paid off this year and make a plan of action. Paying down debts now will save you money (and stress) so you can get to the more exciting goals.
Invest your money
Investing doesn’t have to mean making risky all-or-nothing deals. Building investment habits this year can pay off with more savings and return in the long run. Look for investments that match your current resources, so you’re not spending money you don’t have. Here’s an article with different investment apps to check out, whether you’re just starting out or have some experience with investing your money.—At CIFS, we want to help make your financial goals a reality by establishing attainably healthy spending and saving habits. Learn more about how we can support you and your financial future through this coming year.