With a brand new year comes a chance to start with a fresh slate; to let go of the past and look ahead to the future. It’s also a great opportunity to revisit your finances and make plans to save, pay down debt, or make significant purchases.
So here are a few tips from Breeze to get your personal financial planning for 2023 started off on a good note and set the tone for the rest of the year.
Make A Financial Plan for 2023
Before you start any financial journey, you need a plan. To start, list your take-home income and all your expenses, including utilities, rent/mortgage, groceries, credit card payments, and other bills.
Once you know how much money you’ve got coming in and how much is going out, you can decide if there are things you can cut.
Are you subscribed to several streaming services, but really only watch one or two? Cancel the others.
If you’ve been spending a lot on going out to eat (or constantly using a food delivery app), consider cutting back to only once a week, or choosing more reasonably priced meals.
With the extra money you’ll have from making a few tweaks, you can look into what to do with it and whether you’d prefer to save it or treat yourself.
Savings And Investments
Do you want to go on a lavish vacation, or do you want to plan for retirement? Are you looking at the short-term or long-term?
That’s the main difference between savings and investing– the former has you putting money away for the short(er) term for something you wish to purchase, often for your own enjoyment. This includes a holiday, a new ATV, big screen TV, new computer, and things along those lines.
Investing is the best way to put your money to work for you if you want to save for retirement or a down payment on a house. How much you invest and where will determine how much you’ll end up with in the future. A financial advisor can help you set up mutual funds and other investments that will make your money go further.
Pay Down Debt
Credit card debt can feel like a weight around your neck that never gets any lighter, especially in this age of online shopping and instant gratification. Paying only the minimum payment means it will take decades to zero your balance.
Consider transferring the balance on any high interest cards to one with a lower interest rate, that way most of your payment will go to the principal instead of the interest. This will get the card paid off sooner.
Also, try and avoid making purchases on the card you’re paying off as that will just perpetuate the cycle.
Try The 50-20-30 Rule
Financial experts say your income should be portioned out for generalized categories, following what they call the 50-20-30 rule.
The rule says that 50% of your income should go towards the essentials, things you must pay; 20% should be put away for savings; and 30% should go towards non-essential purchases, or the things you want.
Take Time To Take Care
A trap a lot of people fall into when trying to get their finances in order is not allocating some money for fun things. The fear of missing out is a real one, and it’s a common way to overspend.
Setting aside some money to go to the movies or order pizza once a month, or just doing something enjoyable will make the cuts to your budget much more bearable, and much more sustainable for the long term.
Tackling your finances can feel daunting, but the feeling of seeing your savings account go up and your credit card debt go down is immensely satisfying.
If you’re looking at working a new ATV or other off-road vehicle into your budget, we at Breeze Financial Solutions can help you get where you need. Apply now and your dream will be closer to reality.