Did You Know?
65% of Americans are considering a financial goal for the new year.
How to Reset and Refresh Your Finances This Year
A huge challenge we faced in 2020 and 2021 was uncertainty. Many families understandably played it safe as they didn’t know how the pandemic would affect their work.
For some it was minimal impact, but for millions of people they had to deal with job loss or reduced hours. These families have had to dip into savings or temporarily take on debt.
It’s a challenge creating plans, especially with finances when there's some things still up in the air.
If you’re ready to tackle this challenge, here are some tips on how to reset and refresh your finances this year so you can have hit your goals while still maintaining some flexibility in your budget!
Focus on Long Term
The first is to take a long-term approach when drafting your financial goals. You may not be back at 100% this year and that’s okay. We’re going to focus on progress not perfection.
Begin by getting an assessment of your current numbers. What’s your monthly cash flow right now? How are your savings doing?
Looking at your goal, what’s the target that you’re trying to hit?
Let’s say you’re looking to get a down payment ready for a house. What’s the amount you’re trying to save?
Having these concrete numbers, you can then get a better idea of how much you can reasonably set aside each month towards those goals.
While you’re not needlessly dragging out your timetable to hit your goals, do bake in some flexibility. Your one year goal may become an 18 month or two year goal.
Including that buffer can help you deal with a setback that’s outside your control like some saw when they were furloughed.
Break Down Your Financial Goals into Milestones
The second suggestion I have is breaking your goals down by the quarter. By approaching it quarterly, you can pivot and adjust it as it’s needed.
Certain industries have busier or slower seasons. Your income may increase or decrease so you would either be more aggressive or dial it back.
Regularly Keep Tabs on Your Finances
Staying on top of your money doesn’t have to be long and drawn out.
There are some fantastic options out there with apps, spreadsheets, and yes, pen and paper where you can keep track of how your accounts are doing.
Automating your bill payments, savings, and investments also makes the process much easier.
Setting up your system for the first time may take a bit, perhaps an evening, but once it’s done, you’re good to go. For us, doing a check up once a week for a few minutes is all we need.
Another key way to stay on track is having an accountability partner.
If you’re married, you and your spouse can have a money date. You can also grab a friend who has a similar goal and meet up monthly as well.
With these check-ins, you’ll be able to review the numbers and keep motivating one another to stick with your goals.
You can also run ideas with each other on ways to optimize or adjust your budget. If something needs to be fixed or you went over your budget a monthly check-in can help you fix it before it snowballs into a bigger issue.
Want Some Extra Guidance?
I hope these tips help you make 2022 a good year for you and your finances.
If you want another pair of eyes to help you plan and prepare for your big financial and family goals, reach out to Coastal’s Wealth Management team, available through CFS*.
They’re eager to help you craft a plan that fits your priorities and timeline!
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