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Spring Into Your Financial Goals and Budget

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Spring Into Your Financial Goals and Budget

Our financial wellness is extremely important now and for years down the road. Spring into those financial goals you had set for the new year, as well as check in with your budget to continue to have financial success in year 2023!  

Prepare Your List of Financial Goals  

If you have created new year’s resolutions, you know it can be extremely hard to stick to them if you don’t implement steps to adequately meet them. If you haven’t already, it is important to identify goals within your goals to help you stay accountable and committed to them throughout the year and on.  

Step 1: Analyze Your Financial Situation and Budget 

Before you dive into what goals you are on track to meet and others you may need to refine, it is crucial to do a deep dive into your current financial situation and comb through your current budget. Doing this may bring up some areas that you didn’t realize may be affecting your finances negatively as well as finding areas you can improve. Tracking your current spending and saving habits are incredibly important for everyone to do, let your financial resolutions be clear and concise by identifying your money moves and behaviors.  

Step 2: Define Your Debt 

Debt is a tool that, depending on how you use and are managing it, can inherently be a good or bad thing. If you have found your debt to be more of a financial burden than a tool, chances are your debt needs to be addressed and controlled. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you address your current debt: 

  1. Eliminate any debt that you can. Yes, this can be difficult to do – pay off credit card debt and avoid borrowing depreciating assets as it can add up quickly if you carry a balance.  

  1. Keep your total debt amount manageable. Just because you can borrow it, doesn’t mean you should borrow it. The rule of thumb is to keep your monthly costs below 28% of your pre-tax income and your total monthly debt payments.  

  1. Align your payments with your lifestyle and timing. When you are looking into taking out a loan, be honest with yourself about your time horizons. This means, if you don’t plan to dig your roots somewhere consider a shorter maturity loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage over a longer-term loan. 

Step 3: Optimize Your Budget Financial Goals 

Once you’ve addressed areas that need to be implemented or improved, you can begin re-working and refreshing your budget. Be careful to mold your plan to meet your financial goals. Tracking your spending and saving can be a useful tool with set guidelines to keep you on track. Work on identifying areas of improvement to help you save more and point out areas where you could cut back. Here are a few things to factor in when crafting your budget: 

  • Fixed expenses 

  • Rent/mortgage payments 

  • Cell phone  

  • Monthly subscriptions 

  • Groceries 

  • Eating out  

  • Clothing 

  • Entertainment 

  • Daycare 

  • Holidays  

  • Vacation  

Step 4: Re-define Your Financial Goals  

As you build this list, here are a few ideas to consider working into both your unique budget and financial goals.   

  • Save more money this year than you did the last 

  • Better your credit score 

  • Better your budget – regardless of how you think you budget, this can always be looked over and changed to fit your lifestyle and goals as they evolve 

  • Pay your credit card balance in full each month 

  • Check your credit score more frequently 

  • Implement a financial checkup as often as you see fit  

  • Improve your debt 

  • Find a way to build your credit that aligns with your goals 

  • Start an emergency fund 

  • Analyze your retirement savings 

  • Open a savings account 

  • Consider a Certificate of Deposit 

  • Discuss your financial situation with your bank 

Meeting and sticking to both your financial goals and budget can be extremely difficult. Building a strong financial foundation will carry you well now and into the future. The best time to put in the hard work is as soon as you can, and continue to implement new goals or areas to work through as you become more financially literate.  

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