Start your personal 2023 budget off right
New Year’s resolutions are often top of mind this time of year; some will stick – but many won’t. Try not to beat yourself up about it. There’s always next year, after all.
However, your personal budget is one area where you should keep your resolutions from slipping. While it’s true that there’s also next year when it comes to your financial goals, putting it off has real consequences that equal less money and more work. So here are 7 steps you should take to start your 2023 budget off right.
1. Review your financial plan
If you made a financial plan last year, get it out and see how you did. If you met your goals, pat yourself on the back and start thinking about all the terrific things you will accomplish in 2023.
If you fell short, that’s okay. Take a deep breath and be honest about why. You may find that many things will have been out of your control. However, if the problem was unnecessary spending or poor planning, take those lessons into the new year with a renewed sense of determination.
2. Tie up your expenses for the last year
If you have personal or business claims to make, locate your receipts and get those submitted as soon as possible. Tying up these loose ends while they’re still fresh in your mind is beneficial because it reduces the likelihood of missing something. In some cases, it also means you’ll get a reimbursement to help get you started in 2023.
3. Get a jump start on your taxes
Your tax submission dates will vary depending on where you live, but it’s always a good idea to get sorted for the year as early as possible. Review, gather the documents you have so far, and follow up with anyone that still needs to send you a form or receipt.
4. Take stock of your credit cards
With the holidays behind you, now is a great time to look at your credit cards. Hopefully, your stellar budgeting skills kept you on track while buying gifts, but if they didn’t, January is the best time to figure that out.
Calculate what you owe and devise a payment plan so nothing gets out of hand. Additionally, review your interest rates on each card and plan to pay the card with the highest rate as soon as possible.
5. Make new savings goals
If your savings account isn’t as full as you hoped, decide precisely how you plan to save in 2023. Toss out whatever tactics didn’t work last year, or adjust them so they do.
Be specific and start small. Most bank accounts will let you make automatic contributions when you make purchases. It’s better than trying to do too much and ending up with a budget that simply doesn’t work.
6. Consider your career goals
If you have a significant job change planned this year, determine how it will impact your budget. Additionally, if you need to bring in more to sustain your lifestyle, brainstorm how you will do that. It may mean taking on a side hustle, switching careers, or negotiating your salary at your current job.
7. Plan for any big changes
Generally speaking, we often know if there is a significant life event, plan to move, or expensive purchase in the short term. So, take stock of what’s going on in your life this year and what it means for your budget. Then, take it a step further and get specific with how you plan to pay for it.
It’s easy to head into each new year thinking it will be different, you’ll earn more money, and things will be easier. However, it’s entirely different to consider precisely how that will happen.
Take the opportunity in January to dissect your financial situation, make new goals, and develop a specific plan – and reap the benefits in 2023.