Research states that 38.5 percent of US adults set New Year’s resolutions every year. Further, 59% percent of young adults (18-34) have New Year’s resolutions, which makes it the largest demographic that sets these goals.
While nearly half of all new year’s resolutions are fitness-based, Deerwood Bank is challenging you to set some financial new year’s resolutions the coming year. What could January 1, 2024 look like if you stuck to just one or two of these resolutions…?!
1. Create a budget…and revisit it regularly.
Like almost any business, we believe every individual should have a budget and know where their money goes each month. Look through your expenses for the last couple of months and set your budget based on how much you spend, and what values each of those areas brings to you. Then, revisit your budget regularly (we recommend at least quarterly) to see if it still makes sense. If you’re not sure where to start with a budget, google free budgeting templates or use an app like Mint to track your budget and spending.
P.S. If you are a Deerwood Bank customer, you NEED to check out our Financial Manager tool within online and mobile banking. This tool allows you to set up budgets and track spending, view and manage external accounts, and oversee your investments.
2. Avoid unnecessary bank fees.
We preach on this often, but it’s because bank fees are so common – and so avoidable! For your personal accounts and any business accounts, ask your bank for a printout of the fees you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. Then, challenge your bank on it. Your banking should be nice and simple – with no monthly service fees.
3. Pay down debt.
A very wise Dave Ramsey principle, pay down your debt, starting with whatever debt is the highest in interest. Intentionally put extra money toward your highest loan each month. Pay the minimum on the rest. Then, once you pay off the first, start putting that whole payment towards the debt with the next highest interest rate. This is one of the most proven ways to reduce your debt!
4. Meal plan and meal prep.
This is one of the easiest ways to save money! Takeout or eating out can add up quickly, so can multiple trips to the grocery store each week. Spend 20 minutes each Sunday making a meal plan for the week. Then head to the grocery store and get all the groceries you’ll need. Set a goal to stick to your meal plan at least 5 nights out of the week – you’ll be amazed at how quickly your savings add up.
5. Begin with the end in mind.
A good principle for almost any goal setting, beginning with the end in mind will help you stay focused on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Setting resolutions in January can seem daunting but think about what your December could look like. What if you didn’t have to go into debt for Christmas gifts? What if you could save enough in 2023 to go on that spring break vacation in 2024? Dream about what the next year could be like if you stuck to your financial resolution this year.
6. Challenge yourself to a no-spend week or month.
Choose one week out of the month (or one month even) and designate it a “no-spend” period. Maybe you’ll still have to get gas or maybe even a few groceries, but no going in for a coffee at the gas station or indulging in extra groceries. No ordering stuff online and no extra shopping trips. Try it out and see how you can save!
If you adopt just a few of these resolutions for 2023, your 2024 could look a lot different! How will you challenge yourself in 2023 to spend and save responsibly? How will your financial goals contribute to your overall goals? It’s fun to think about the possibilities!