Get some great financial wellness tips for the new year from one of our experts!
With the holidays coming – along with all the additional expenses – right now is an excellent time to get some solid financial wellness tips for the new year. Establishing your goals and plans now can help you not overspend at this time of year and get you in tip top shape going into 2023! We know that financial planning can seem like an overwhelming task that looms on many people’s to-do lists so today financial expert Gabrielle Siegel is sharing her insider tips.
1. Review your financial plan
If you are just starting out with your financial plan, the best place to begin is reviewing your monthly expenses (I prefer calling it monthly expenses rather than budget). On average, how much have you been spending? Is it surprising? Where are areas that your family could spend more mindfully?
If there is a surplus of savings monthly, that is an opportunity to talk to a financial advisor on the best savings tool to use to maximize the money you are saving.
If there is no surplus every month, are there any areas of opportunity to spend differently?
Already have a financial plan in place? When was the last time you reviewed your strategy with your advisor? Are there any income updates, cost of living updates, or new goals that you should inform them about? The end of the year is the perfect time to get organized and increase or adjust what you have put in place to realign it with your current goals.
2. Commit to how much you are going to spend on gifts
Making a list of the people you plan on exchanging gifts with and picking a price that you will spend is helpful within a financial plan. One thing that is very important is avoid debt!
3. Tackle credit card debt
If you have any credit card debt, you are not alone. Make sure you start overpaying the highest interest rate credit card first as it is accruing the most interest. Once you are done paying that card start overpaying the next card with the highest interest. Make sure you are paying the minimums on all credit card debt!
4. Make savings automated
Whether you are saving for holiday gifts or for your next vacation, make your savings automated! People are their best savers when it is systematic, automatic and it happens without thought. Setting money aside in a separate bank account for short term savings can help mentally see how much you can spend to avoid dipping into your emergency savings fund.
5. Don’t forget benefits through work!
There are a lot of benefits through work that are worth reviewing. Make sure with your 401k or 403b you are at least contributing the amount they match (if not more!). The match is free money they give you to contribute to retirement. Within a 401k or 403b there might be the opportunity to contribute your dollars ROTH- this is a great opportunity to get guidance from a financial advisor to see if that is a good option for your family. Health savings accounts are another tool that can be offered through work. It is a tax deduction and can be rolled over year after year with the purpose of using the contributions for health expenses. If you have small children, a FSA is great for childcare expenses as it is tax deductible to contribute into and can be used for childcare. A FSA will expire at the end of the year so make sure you only contribute the amount you will definitely use!