The new year always brings a renewed sense of purpose and dedication. Take the time to implement these simple short-term financial goals.
Financial goals don’t have to break the bank (literally), but sometimes it’s difficult to lay out specific plans to achieve them. Use these six tips in 2022 to help you with goals you’ve already made, set new ones, or create better habits.
6 Goals To Consider
Plan Ahead Of Time
Let’s say you’d like to take a trip soon. To kick-start the planning process, will you save funds in a separate savings account or do you think you’ll be able to allocate all that money at once? These two options, while having the same end goal of going on vacation, have varying levels of stress involved.
Last-minute money allocation is strenuous and puts you in a tight spot, as opposed to setting aside money each month in order to have a stress- and worry-free trip. This is only one example and can be translated to anything in life that you wish to plan for. Save up over time, rather than worrying as you near your deadline.
Have An Emergency Fund
If you don’t have one already, take time this year to set aside money for emergencies. Experts agree that emergency funds should at least cover three to six months of living expenses, but $1,000 or another fixed amount can be a good initial goal.
Breaking the savings down over the course of weeks or months can help make the goal less daunting. It’ll grow faster than you think and can be the start of a healthy savings habit for you as well.
Pay Off Debt
It’s an overwhelming feeling when you have multiple debts and are scrambling with due dates and payments. Use 2022 to commit to fully paying off one credit card or other debt. This will be a huge relief on your finances and you’ll experience how good it feels to pay off debt.
Build A Budget
The B word that you see everywhere! People swear by it for their financial success and use it to go down the road to financial freedom. Yes, budgeting is all of that and more, but it starts with an in-depth look at where you spend your money, what bills you have, and what’s left at the end of every month. Look at your last few months of bank and credit card statements to use as a guide. Eliminate unnecessary expenditures, set a savings goal, and follow through.
Do More Financial Research
Take your financial goals a step further and talk to someone who can give you an unbiased look at your finances. A+FCU offers free financial counseling through BALANCE, our financial wellness partner, and they can help you with spending, budgeting, debt repayment options, and more. All their services are targeted towards helping you become financially stable.
If you’re feeling even more motivated, read a personal finance book for a deeper look into your finances.
Try A Spending Fast
A spending fast is when you stop spending money on nonessential things, experiences, or items for an extended period of time. The new year is a great time to reevaluate your spending and put more toward your savings account or emergency fund.
If you find yourself purchasing random things here and there or you want to break a shopping habit, implementing a spending fast – even for a few weeks – will really open your eyes to how much those nonessentials have been costing you. Now’s the time to enjoy free fun-filled experiences, like a game night at home or going hiking. If you’re hesitant about the length of the fast, try a spending fast in February since the month is a little shorter.
If setting and working towards a financial goal seems overwhelming, keep in mind that you only need to take one small step at a time. Make a goal for today, then for a week, then a month, etc. Start small and work up.