By making smart financial moves at the beginning of the year, you can set yourself up for better financial well-being. And we all want a little more financial stability in our lives! Here are some of the best money moves you should take as you step into 2024:
- Review Your Financial Goals and Set New Ones. Look at what you’ve accomplished this past year and celebrate your success. Then, set clear, realistic financial goals for the new year. You may want to save for a specific purchase, build an emergency fund, or pay down debt. Whatever it may be, write down your goals.
- Create a Budget for the New Year. Evaluate how you spend money and create a budget that allocates funds to essential expenses, savings, and discretionary spending. Thankfully, budgeting doesn’t have to mean creating a three-page spreadsheet and itemizing every expense down to your last pack of gum. But it means having a realistic picture of how much you earn and spend monthly. And most importantly, align your budget with your financial goals for ultimate success. For example, if you aim to establish an emergency savings fund of $1,200 by the end of the year, you should up your budget to save at least $100 monthly in a savings account. IMPORTANT: If you need assistance putting together a budget, call us at 405-755-1000. One of our experts will help you get started.
- Strategize to Pay Down Debt. Assess your outstanding debts and create a plan to pay them down effectively. Prioritize high-interest debts and consider a debt consolidation loan through Quail Creek Bank if it makes financial sense.
- Review Your Investments. Review your investment portfolio and adjust based on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and market conditions. Consider consulting with one of our Financial Advisors to create a personalized financial plan for you and your family. Call us at 405-755-1000 to schedule an appointment, or click here to get started.
- Maximize Your Retirement Savings. Maximize contributions to your retirement accounts, such as 401(k) or IRA. Review and adjust any retirement investment strategy you’ve established (as needed).
- Conduct an Insurance Check-Up. Review your insurance coverage, including health, life, and property insurance, to ensure it aligns with your current needs. Shop around for better premiums if you desire. If you don’t find anything better, you can feel confident you are getting the best deal for you and your family. Additionally, you may want to speak to an insurance broker or agent to help you with the review and provide insights into what you may not fully understand.
- Review Subscriptions and Other Services. Take a look at your recurring expenses, including subscriptions and memberships. Cancel or adjust services that you no longer need. Remember, even $8 per month for something you rarely use adds up over time!
- Automate Your Savings. Set up automatic transfers to your savings or investment accounts. That way, you can consistently save money without thinking about it (or seeing it in your account).
- Make HSA Contributions (If You Qualify). If you have an insurance policy with a qualifying deductible, you can contribute to a Health Savings Account. It’s easy to open the HSA through your employer, but you can also open one independently if your health insurance qualifies. Contributions to an HSA are either pre-tax or tax-deductible. The money you save grows tax-deferred and can be used tax-free for eligible medical expenses at any time. See if your health insurance qualifies for this account.
- Prepare for Tax Time. Gather any documents you need for your taxes at the end of the year. And when you receive your W2 or other tax documents, keep them in a safe and secure location so you can reference them quickly when you’re ready to do your taxes. The sooner you submit your taxes, the better.
Everyone’s financial situation is unique, so you may need to adapt these suggestions to meet your needs. We always recommend speaking to a trusted financial advisor to help you organize your finances and create a plan that works for you. Then, check in annually to modify your plan based on your circumstances. If you want to meet with one of our financial advisors, click here.