January is a great time to look ahead and set goals for what to accomplish in the new year. It’s also a great time to prioritize your financial health. Here are some great tips for improving your finances in 2023 and beyond!
CREATE A BUDGET
- Tracking your spending helps you understand where your money goes each month.
- Setting a clear budget will help you set guidelines on what you can afford and where you need to cut back.
- Start by writing fixed expenses (mortgage/rent, groceries – to name a few). From there, you can then determine how much money you have left over each month for flexible expenses (clothing, restaurants, etc.)
- While there are countless ways to save money (increasing retirement savings, cut back on spending, investigate higher yielding options like certificates of deposit), we have found the best way to save is by automating it. Pick an amount, set it, and forget it! With talk of a recession in 2023, there isn’t a better time to start saving.
PAY DOWN CREDIT CARD DEBT
- The faster you can pay off credit card debt, the faster you have more monthly cash in your pocket and the faster your credit score will improve.
- Credit cards have notoriously high interest rates and fees each month. Consider a low-interest rate balance transfer or a personal loan to consolidate your debt and decrease your monthly payments.
IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE
- If your credit isn’t great (below 670), make it a priority to improve it in 2023.
- You can do this by paying off debt, paying your bills on time and in full (you can automate this in Online Banking!), limiting spending, and not opening any new accounts unless absolutely necessary.