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5 Important Financial Goals for the New Year

By Jeffrey Meenes, CFP® (Published Date January 4, 2024)

Goals can be more challenging to set if you have difficulty envisioning the rewards of financial stability. The new year is here, and now is the best time to create financial goals to help you set yourself up for a more financially stable future. Sometimes, organizing your finances can be daunting, but setting a few yearly goals can be easier than you think. Start the year by getting started on the five financial goals listed below:

1. Draft a Monthly Budget

Even though this may seem like an obvious goal, many people find it hard to draft a budget each month and stick to it. A monthly budget is the beginning of gaining better control over your finances, and the more detailed it is, the better. When creating your budget, ensure every dollar is accounted for, including savings, investments, clothing, food, and entertainment. It will not only help you realize how much you spend each month, but it will also help direct your focus to areas where you can improve and help you decide where to allocate the extra money you get from sticking to your budget.

2. Take Control of Your Debt

Debt can be one of the primary factors that can hold you back from financial success. Make a reasonable plan to reduce your debt and stick to it. You can start by determining a reasonable amount of debt you would like to pay off for the year, ensuring the goal is attainable. Next, determine how much you must pay monthly to reduce your debt by the goal amount. Finally, you must look at your budget and find a way to accommodate this amount each month, even if it means cutting back on other areas. It is also essential to ensure you do not add more debt throughout the year.

3. Make an Emergency Fund a Priority

Medical costs, major vehicle repairs, job layoffs, and house maintenance can quickly derail a budget. Make sure that you have a fund set up expressly to handle these unforeseen expenses so that you don’t have to alter your monthly budget to accommodate. A good rule of thumb for an emergency fund is to keep saving until you have about six months of expenses. Budget an amount each month for your emergency fund savings. If an emergency requires the funds sometime during the year, you must regrow it. 

4. Prioritize Retirement Savings

Saving for retirement is often put on the back burner until it is too late. The sooner you begin saving for retirement, the more time these savings will have to grow and the better returns you will have on your investments. Work with your financial advisor to determine which retirement savings vehicles may be best for you.

5. Create a Long-Term Financial Plan

Goals can be more challenging to set if you have difficulty envisioning the rewards of financial stability. Consider any long-term financial goals, such as buying a house or retirement. Draft a plan that includes spending, saving, investing, and other ways to build the wealth you need to achieve these goals. You can start with smaller goals so that they seem less daunting. A plan will help you stay on track and guide your financial decisions. 

Make this the year you take control of your finances and get on the right track to achieve your goals. Consider the five financial goals listed above to help you get started.  

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Meenes Wealth Partners. It may not be used to avoid any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.