Millennials and Gen Zers, with 2023 just around the corner, are you planning to make any New Year’s resolutions? Will you resolve to eat better? Start that exercise program you’ve been avoiding? Volunteer more? Be more environmentally sound?
If you resolve to do better in matters such as these, and then follow through, chances are 2023 will be a more satisfying year. But there’s another important area of your life that’s ripe for resolutions and you shouldn’t ignore. Indeed, if you are in your 20s or 30s, making some financial resolutions could have a big impact on not only next year but your long-term future as well.
Three Areas to Target
Here are a few ideas you might want to consider in pursuing each of the three most common financial resolutions:
Save more. Are your spending habits making it difficult to save as much money as you’d like? If so, resolve to get better at budgeting. A budget can help you establish guidelines for what you can afford to spend and identify areas where you could cut back.
Set your savings priorities by establishing some short- and medium-term saving goals. Figure out, for instance, how much you need to save each month for the next couple of years to buy that new car you have your eye on, or maybe in the next five years to make a down payment on a home.
With those goals in mind, establish a monthly budget and identify saving strategies that will enable you to live within it. For instance, if you’ve had trouble controlling credit card spending, consider using a dedicated debit card for all nonessential purchases and reloading it each month with a set amount of cash. Another helpful strategy is to use a budgeting app that monitors your banking and credit card accounts and allows you to track your spending.
Earn more. Take advantage of current conditions in the labor market. With unemployment at historically low levels, inflation dominating economic news, and qualified workers difficult for employers to find, 2023 could be a good year to pursue a raise at your current job or seek a higher-paying position elsewhere.
You may also want to consider a side-gig. With workers scarce, it’s much easier today to secure a part-time job to earn extra cash and help meet your savings goals.
And don’t overlook the earning power of your credit cards. Many, like Hancock Whitney’s Visa® Platinum Credit Card offer competitive cash back rewards.
Invest better. A big focus of investing is setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement. Of course, for millennials, that’s still decades away. So why make this one of your resolutions?
It's simple. If you get on track now by putting say 10% to 15% of your pay into an investment program, you can avoid having to boost your contributions to uncomfortable levels when you’re in your 50s and 60s, or working later in life than you would prefer.
If you haven’t already, resolve to increase your 401(k) contributions to at least the level of your company’s match. And, if you can swing it, consider regularly contributing to a Roth IRA.
Make It Happen
New Year’s resolutions only impact your life if you actually fulfill them. So, make yourself accountable. Writing down your goals, committing your budget to paper, and talking about your financial resolutions with people close to you can help you stay on track.
Another strategy for chasing your financial dreams in 2023 is to spend time with knowledgeable financial professionals. Your Hancock Whitney banker, for instance, can offer a wide range of tried-and-true tips for improving your finances in 2023 and beyond.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.