New Year’s resolutions tend to fall in the “best-laid plans” category.
We may strive to eat better, exercise more, or learn a new skill. But after getting off to a great start, we’re right back to our old habits. (Apologies to the stronger-willed individuals who actually stick it out.)
What if there were some more doable resolutions for your repertoire? And for the cherry on top, these promises were a major boon to your financial journey? The following are realistic (and logical) financial New Year’s resolutions to help you save, be informed, and plan ahead.
Save a little more
- Trim your subscriptions. Raise your hand if you don’t know how many subscriptions (streaming services, media website subscriptions, exercise apps, etc.) you have. A quick audit allows you to identify and cancel/modify subscriptions to help trim the fat. Then going forward, you can track your remaining subscriptions and get the best bang for your buck through family plans, bundling, downgrading your plan, and more.
- Save at the pump. Round and round the gas prices go; where they’ll stop, nobody knows. What we do know (and remember all too well) was how painful 2022 was at the pump. Yes, prices have plummeted since, but there’s always a chance they’ll shoot back up. Check out these savvy ways to save every time you fill up.
- Delete payment info from online stores. Tech has made it incredibly easy to buy just about anything online with one click. Your credit card information may be stored on multiple sites, and you don’t even know it. By deleting your info from some (or all) of these sites, you won’t be as tempted to impulse buy.
- Pay your bills right after payday. Prioritize your needs over your wants by paying bills shortly after you get paid. This practice will prevent you from making problem purchases and falling behind on your bills. Paying your bills on time while staying true to your budget will also clear some room for those finer things in life.
- Sign up for digital banking alerts. Check out everything SELCO’s digital banking has to offer. And once you’re in, we recommend enabling subscription and security alerts to protect your accounts.
- Monitor your credit. Make use of annualcreditreport.com, which provides free copies of your credit report from all three credit bureaus. Consider pulling one report every four months so you can be connected to your credit report on a regular basis.
- Read a financial education article a week. From buying a vehicle and planning your future, to owning a home and protecting your information, SELCO has an extensive library of articles to pique your financial curiosity. NerdWallet and Investopedia are also fine resources for getting your fill of financial education.
- Set up an automatic transfer to savings. Even if it’s just a small portion of what you saved through the steps above, moving that money over to a savings bucket can go a long way. Setting an automatic, recurring transfer to a savings account (including certificates, which remain hot into 2024) can build a nice little nest egg for things like vacations, your emergency fund, or a new car. Even $20 every payday can go a long way, especially if you’re not thinking about it or tempted to dip into it.
There you have it. If you’re determined to get on a better path to financial freedom, try committing to these simple tips and life hacks to help you get there.