Looking Toward 2024: Financial Resolutions for a Prosperous Year
As we approach the threshold of a new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our financial habits. The New Year is a time when we make resolutions that can significantly impact our lives, including our financial well-being. Whether you aim to save more, reduce debt, or invest wisely, setting practical financial resolutions for 2024 is a proactive step toward a prosperous future.
Let’s explore some practical financial resolutions that you can consider for making 2024 a year of financial growth and stability.
- Save More, Spend Wisely
One of the most common and effective financial resolutions is to save more and spend wisely. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of daily expenses, but setting aside a portion of your income for savings is essential for building financial security. Research shows that a 15-year high on savings interest rates. As of March 2023, 66 percent of Americans were able to save money in the 12 months. The data found that the average American has $65,100 in personal savings, excluding retirement assets.
If you want to join the millions of Americans who are saving every year, start by creating a budget that outlines your income and expenses, including a dedicated savings category. Aim to save at least 20 percent of your income each month, and remember that every little bit counts.
- Create an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a financial cushion that provides peace of mind in times of unexpected expenses or crises. Aim to build an emergency fund equivalent to at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Start small, with the goal of saving a specific amount each month until you reach your target. This fund will protect you from going into debt when unforeseen circumstances arise.
- Reduce Debt
If you have outstanding debts, whether they are student loans, credit card balances, or personal loans, make it a resolution to reduce them in 2024. Data collected recently discovered that the average American owes a little under $22,000 far lower than a few years ago. (2019)
Set a plan to pay down your debts systematically. Start by focusing on the high-interest debts first, while continuing to make minimum payments on others. As you pay off each debt, reallocate the money towards the next, creating a snowball effect. Reducing debt will not only improve your financial situation but also reduce stress.
- Invest Wisely
Investing can significantly impact your long-term financial well-being. Resolve to educate yourself about various investment options, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. You don’t need to be a financial expert to get started; many online resources and investment platforms make it accessible for beginners. Consider seeking advice from a financial advisor to create an investment strategy aligned with your financial goals.
- Set Specific Financial Goals
Having clear, specific financial goals can provide a roadmap for your financial journey. Your goals might include buying a home, saving for retirement, paying for your child’s education, or taking that dream vacation. Break these goals down into manageable, achievable steps with timelines. This approach will keep you motivated and focused on what you’re working towards.
- Automate Your Savings
Automation is a powerful tool for achieving financial goals. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings or investment accounts on payday. This way, you won’t have to rely on willpower to save; it happens automatically. Over time, you’ll adjust to your lower disposable income, and saving will become a habit.
- Diversify Your Income
In today’s ever-changing job market, having multiple income streams can provide extra financial security. If you have a hobby or skill that can be monetized, consider turning it into a side gig. Whether it’s freelancing, online tutoring, or selling handmade crafts, diversifying your income can help you achieve your financial resolutions faster.
- Revaluate Your Expenses
Take a close look at your monthly expenses and see if there are areas where you can cut back. This may include cancelling unused subscriptions, eating out less, or finding more cost-effective alternatives. Redirect the money saved towards your financial goals.
- Review and Adjust Your Retirement Savings
If you have a retirement savings account, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, consider making it a resolution to review and potentially increase your contributions. As your income grows, it’s crucial to allocate a larger portion of your income toward retirement savings. This will help you secure your financial future and ensure a comfortable retirement.
Jack Lamont, Senior Vice President of investments at David Lerner Associates, emphasizes the importance of reflecting at the start of the New Year. He says, “In the world of financial wisdom, finding that sensible middle ground of investing is like composing a financial symphony – it harmonizes your dreams with your reality, ensuring your retirement score remains timeless.”
- Seek Professional Advice
If you’re unsure about the best financial strategies for your specific situation, consider seeking the advice of a financial advisor. They can help you create a personalized financial plan, offer investment guidance, and provide insights into tax-saving opportunities. The cost of their services is often offset by the potential financial gains and peace of mind they can provide.
Making practical financial resolutions for 2024 can be the key to achieving long-term financial prosperity. Whether you aim to save more, reduce debt, invest wisely, or work towards specific financial goals, taking concrete steps to improve your financial well-being is a commendable endeavor. Remember that financial resolutions are not about deprivation but about creating a more secure and enjoyable future. By following through with your resolutions and staying committed, you can look forward to a year of financial growth, stability, and peace of mind in 2024 and beyond.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.