These all deserve a prime spot.
- It’s common to make a list of resolutions to kick off the new year.
- Addressing these money matters could set you up for near- and long-term financial success.
- Consider checking your credit report quarterly, starting a retirement plan, and maintaining your home to save money on repairs.
Many people like to use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to pledge to do better in some regard. That might mean getting more sleep, eating healthier food, and exercising more than once every six weeks. It could also mean tackling money moves you may have neglected in the past.
If you’re in the process of mapping out your New Year’s resolutions for 2023, it pays to focus on personal finance matters just as much as health-related ones. And here are five key items to put on your to-do list.
1. Build a three-month emergency fund
There’s no way to know if 2023 will be the year you’re laid off at work or your once-trusty car decides it no longer wants to run. That’s why you need a safety net — money you can tap when you’re stuck in a financial jam. And so at a minimum, you should aim to build yourself an emergency fund with enough money to cover at least three months of essential bills. That way, you’ll be able to dip into your savings account rather than resort to debt if life doesn’t go your way.
2. Start funding a retirement plan
You’ll need savings to help pay the bills in retirement, and your IRA account or 401(k) isn’t going to magically fund itself. So make this the year you carve out money each month for your long-term savings. The sooner you contribute funds to a retirement plan, the sooner you can start investing your money so it’s able to grow into a larger sum over time.
3. Follow a budget
You might think budgeting is boring or lame. But it’s an essential part of managing your money. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to actively work on your budget every day. You can sign up for a budgeting app that links to your checking account and credit cards so you can track your spending without having to constantly crunch numbers.
4. Check your credit report once every quarter
Consumer credit reports will be free on a weekly basis in 2023. But generally speaking, you don’t have to review yours once every seven days. Rather, a quarterly check-in should suffice. That should give you a snapshot of your financial picture and also help you spot errors or fraud early on.
5. Maintain your home to prevent costly repairs
It’s easy to skimp on home maintenance when things seem to be working just fine. But if you don’t do things like clean out your gutters, have your heating and air conditioning system serviced, and keep your trees nice and trimmed, you might end up with major issues down the line that cost you a lot of money. A much better bet is to tackle maintenance items during the year so you’re not hit with unpleasant surprises.
Financial resolutions are a good thing to make, and putting yours in writing might help you stay on track. Pledging to do these five things could help you close out 2023 in a financially strong place, so it’s worth making the commitment and effort.
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