With the holidays fast approaching, you may still have a long list of things to do and people to buy for, and perhaps a few family traditions to keep up. While this time of year can be wonderful, the holiday season can also be stressful and very expensive. The good news is that a brand new year is on the horizon, and with a little planning and effort you can make 2024 a financial success.
Here are 4 tips to help get you started:
- Make a Plan to Address Holiday Debt
While it’s not a good idea to rack up credit card debt during the holidays, it’s unfortunately very common for people to do so. If you find yourself with sky high credit card balances following the holiday season, now is the time to create a repayment plan so you can minimize your interest charges and pay off your balances as quickly as possible.
A good rule of thumb is to tackle the credit cards with the highest balances first, or the cards with the highest interest rates. It’s also important to not continue piling up debt while you’re working to pay off your card balances. In other words, don’t spend money you don’t have.
To prevent the accumulation of more credit card debt, and to ensure that you have dedicated funds to put toward paying down your existing balances, you should establish a budget. If you do not have a budget yet, take the steps necessary to create one now.
- Establish Your Financial Goals
Another way to strengthen your finances in 2024 is to outline your financial goals for the year. Your exact goals will vary depending on your unique financial situation, but may include:
• Putting a certain amount of money into a savings account each month.
• Establishing a retirement account or increasing retirement contributions.
• Improving your credit score.
• Increasing your income with a side hustle.
• Saving for a specific goal, such as an emergency fund, vacation, or a home.
Whatever your financial goals may be, take the time to write them down and define a plan for achieving them. And hold yourself accountable to them throughout the year!
- Make Your Savings Work for You
Chances are, some of your financial goals for 2024 will involve saving money. A savings account can be a vital tool in helping you to accomplish your savings goals. But it’s important to remember that not all savings accounts are created equally. While the national average APY on a typical savings account is currently just 0.46%, you can earn much more on your hard-earned dollars.
With a high-interest savings account you can earn a significantly higher APY, allowing your balance to grow at a much faster rate than you may be earning now. Bank5 Connect offers two savings account options, depending on your average balance. Both our High-Interest Savings and Jumbo Savings accounts offer a rate many times higher than the average savings account. For many people, switching to a high-interest savings account is an easy step to building wealth
- Evaluate Your Spending
Perhaps one of the best ways to build financial success in 2024 is to gain better control over your spending. Whether your goal is to pay down debt, build up an emergency fund, or save for a specific purpose, reducing your spending can help you achieve it. But before you can cut back on your spending, it’s important to first understand where your money is currently going.
Take some time to go through each of your credit card and bank statements. Write down what you are spending money on. Include everything from gas and food to clothing and utilities. Then, work through this list to look for areas where you can trim back and save money. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
• Are there any services you are paying for that you do not need, or that you don’t use often?
• Is there a less expensive alternative for any of your expenses, such as a lower tier plan?
• How often are you eating at restaurants or buying takeout? Can you save money by making meals at home?
With a new year, comes a new chance to improve your financial wellbeing. With some planning and determination, you can create a stronger financial future for yourself in 2024. For more financial tips and resources, visit our blog and check out our selection of handy financial calculators. Best of luck to you in 2024!