- Get organized.
After the chaos ends, organize your gifts and purchases to determine what needs to go back to the store, what fits, what doesn’t, etc. Find your receipts and plan out your day to make sure that all purchases are returned or exchanged so that you receive your maximum credit. Losing the receipt or not bothering to take something back right away often results in wasteful unused clutter around the house and, more importantly, wasted money.
- Establish/revise your budget.
Review your “ins” and “outs” again to understand your fixed costs and your variable costs. Adjust your variable costs to increase the amount you can save or spend on something special. Don’t forget to cancel any unused services around the house. Sometimes, during our busy lives, we forget we’re still paying for something that isn’t even being used. For example, did you purchase an alternative TV subscription service to watch a certain mini-series, but now that show has ended?
- Set new financial goals.
Once you’ve gotten organized and cleaned up last year’s spending, set new financial goals for yourself for the new year. After you make your payments, do you have some extra money to save or invest? If so, make some tentative plans. Sometimes having a specific goal for your savings can make the process easier and more enjoyable.
- Set money aside for an emergency fund.
It’s always good to ensure you have money set aside for unexpected events. While the size of your fund will vary depending on your lifestyle, monthly costs, income, and dependents, the rule of thumb is to save at least three to six months’ worth of expenses. If that seems out of reach, set aside what you can and work your way up.
- Consider increasing your investment contributions.
As your budget allows, consider increasing the amount you are contributing to your company sponsored retirement plan, health expense account, or 529 plan if you have children. While it may not seem critical now, your additional contributions will add up over time and be a huge help in the long run.
These five ideas are just some of the ways to keep you on track financially and help you plan for the new year and beyond. And of course, if you need any advice or assistance to make sure you get 2023 started on the right financial foot, we’re always ready. Here’s to a new year filled with new opportunities!
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