Now that we’re in a new year, it’s time to start thinking about how we can improve in the future and do things differently. One of the best ways to prepare for success in 2022 (and beyond) is to explore ways to get your finances in the best shape possible. In a new study on consumption habits for adults in PA, NJ, DE and MD, residents are looking for a financial reset. Of those surveyed, 56% say they are likely or highly likely to make economic decisions by 2022.
Budgeting is the highest economic solution in 2022
While goals and decisions come and go, a new year means a new opportunity to take control of your finances by acting.
In the recent survey, residents were asked to choose their top 3 financial decisions heading into the new year. Setting a monthly budget and sticking to it was the most popular response among residents, selected by 39%, followed by repayment of credit card debt 37% and reduction of expenses for non-essential activities such as eating out, which was a priority for 33%.
Budgeting was a higher priority for women in the area than men, with 44% of women choosing it among their top 3 decisions, compared to 32% of men. Meanwhile, paying off credit card debt and limiting spending on unnecessary items were more important priorities for men than women (40% vs. 35% and 36% vs. 30%, respectively).
3 tips to get your finances on track for success in 2022
If you are starting the new year with a list of decisions, you may want to consider adding these financial chores:
Review and update your annual budget
New year, new budget. By doing an annual review, you can create and / or re-evaluate your overall financial goals. This annual assessment is different from your more frequent weekly financial checks because you are able to establish long-term goals over the next 12 months. If you have never set any financial goals, just think of them as what you hope to get out of your money every year. These goals can be as simple as paying your bills on time each month, or as complicated as making a savings plan to help buy your dream home. Your annual budget review should also compare what you hoped to spend, how much you actually spent, and / or if there are areas of your budget that you can cut out.
You should also use your annual budget review as an opportunity to assess and allocate your finances to future major events, such as a wedding, home renovation, or if you are planning to expand your family. January is also the time when many companies begin open enrollments in health and dental / vision care, 401Ks and retirement benefits that you can sign up to participate in.
While financial goals may be different depending on the person, whatever they are, they will hopefully lead to the same result: help you see why you are spending your money in a certain way.
2. Start the year right with savings
Now that you’ve reviewed your budget, looked for ways to eliminate the things you do not need, and have a better understanding of your new financial priorities, you can start thinking about a savings plan. By saving at the beginning of the year, you create a positive habit. Once you start putting money aside, you do not stop. Some useful tips for getting started with a savings account / emergency fund include:
Find out a dollar amount or a percentage of your income each month you can afford to put into savings.
Take this amount from your salary each month, and either deposit it directly into your savings account, or put it out of sight, but a place where you can remember its location.
Do not see these funds as extra money lying around that can be used for anything.
Only dip in your savings box if there is one genuine emergency, or for the reason you started the savings account in the first place.
Starting the year with savings will hopefully put you on the right track to being confident in your finances in 2022.
Build a range of personal finance resources that you can use to reference in an instant
Make sure you have easy access to financial information that will help you when you need it most. You should have a collection of resources that will help you answer any questions about personal finance quickly and easily. In it Education section At PFCU’s website, you can find a treasure trove of resources to help answer many of your most pressing financial questions, including:
and counseling to help ensure that your credit is in a good place and / or how to get it there.
- Clarifi’s Information Library
can help you on your way to creating a healthy financial life.
to accurately calculate your taxes, mortgages and mortgages, investment and pension, etc.
Webinars you can either take part or see one
of, which offers in-depth information on various financial topics, such as: savings and planning for your children, money management and payment for college.
- Moneyline blog, which offers articles that can advise you on a variety of topics, including: budgeting a wedding, paying for college, how not to spend money on vacation meals and shopping, and more.
These resources can also be physical files that you have printed out and saved somewhere to be taken out when you need them. It is a good idea to have them on hand so that you have peace of mind knowing that should a complicated financial question arise, you would be able to easily find the answer. PFCU also offers resources and additional information to its members and will work with them to achieve their financial goals. For more information, visit pfcu.com.
By using these tips, we hope you set and continue good financial habits that will see you through all aspects of your life.
To see full research report, visit the PFCU website.