Sticking to New Year's resolutions can be as hard as nailing jelly to a wall. Whether your goal is to save for a down payment on a new home or get out of debt, improving your finances can seem like an overwhelming feat — and unexpected events can derail the best of intentions. But it's possible to make lasting changes in the new year by narrowing your focus.
Resolve to complete just two of these financial tasks to end 2022 stronger than when you started.
1. Update Your Budget
Changes to your finances should be reflected in your budget. Did your insurance rates increase? Are you spending less on gas? These changes should be updated in your budget to gain an accurate view of how much money you have to put toward your financial goals. Don't forget to include annual expenses that you typically pay for using credit or loans, such as birthdays, holidays, and vacations.
2. Increase Your Income
The Great Resignation has provided opportunities for many people who want to change jobs or careers. A new job could immediately boost your household income. Or, if you love your current position and can demonstrate good job performance, it might be an excellent time to ask for a raise.
3. Trim Expenses
While eliminating unnecessary expenses, like subscription services and gym memberships, could easily save you $100 a month, trimming necessary expenses could save you thousands every year. For instance, you could shop around for lower insurance rates and reduce your annual premiums. Compare auto, home, and life insurance policies by contacting your insurance carrier or browse online to find lower rates.
4. Eliminate Debt
Achieving your financial goals takes longer when high-interest-rate debt is eating away at your income. List your debt accounts in order of interest rate. Commit to paying off the account with the highest interest rate by doubling the minimum required payment. When that account is paid off, apply the payment to the next account on your list. This allows you to save the most in interest charges while decreasing the time to become debt free.
Reduce the amount you pay in interest even further by transferring debt balances to a low-rate credit card. A Single-digit interest rate means more of your payment goes toward wiping out the balance. SAFE's credit card programs offer special features and perks to help you save money and make the most of every purchase.
5. Build an Emergency Savings Fund
An emergency savings fund holds the money you'll use to pay your expenses if you lose your job or experience a financial emergency. Personal finance experts recommend saving at least three months of expenses to cover your bills during a financial crisis. Growing an account takes time, so start today by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a high-yield savings account.
Say goodbye to money resolutions that don't stick. Create a fiscally responsible sandwich that contains a layer of savings sprinkled with a gradual rise in income to enjoy a filling financial future.