More than 97 million people plan to set financial goals for themselves. But without a solid plan put in motion and the right habits to back it up, achieving the goal can be challenging.
In this article, you’ll learn 14 financial habits which you can adopt in 2022 to help you reach your financial goals this year.
14 Financial Habits to acquire in 2023
Track your spending –
To change anything within your finances, you first need to know what financial position you are in now, including where your money is going.
I never used to track my spending, yet I’d be confused as to how I ran out of money each month. When I finally sat down and tracked my spending, I was shocked.
Tracking your spending can open your eyes to where your money goes. It shows you where you’re overspending and any unnecessary bills etc, Netflix subscription, Disney plus, and can help you set a budget for the future.
Set financial goals –
Many people say they know how they should be spending their money, but majority don’t know how much to save or how to do it. And even if they did, they don’t really have the motivation to do so.
This happens when you don’t have specific financial goals set. It becomes harder to save when you really don’t know what you’re saving towards.
But it’s different when you set financial goals, you know exactly what you’re saving for and how much you need to save. Also, the thought of meeting your goal will provide all the resolve you need.
Schedule a weekly money date –
Having a regular money date with yourself is a good way to stay on top of your finances. Put it on your calendar so you won’t forget.
And if you share finances with someone else, you can have a regular money date to speak about family finances.
Pay yourself first –
When you pay yourself first, you decide ahead of time how much you want to save for yourself each month, whether it be to put into your retirement account, emergency fund or toward a financial goal.
Then, you transfer that money over to a savings or another current account as soon as you get paid before you have a chance and are tempted to spend the money.
I’ve found the best way to do this is to automate my savings so that I never have to remember to do it.
Budget one month ahead –
One of my favourite budgeting hacks is to be one month ahead with my budget.
Most people budget with their current month’s income. In other words, they use their January pay check to pay their January bills.
But when you’re a month ahead on your budget, you use your January pay check to pay February’s bills.
This type of budgeting has benefits to it. First, this one-month serves as a small emergency fund. It also helps you to avoid timing your bills to your pay checks, as many people must do.
If you want to give it a shot, I have an guide on how to get one month ahead on your budget.
Use your credit cards responsibly –
First, people put their expenses on a credit card then pay it off within the next month’s income. This means they’re spending money they haven’t earned yet.
Another habit people have is to charge things to their credit card when they haven’t paid off the full balance.
Here are a few rules for using credit cards responsibly:
· Keep your credit card utilization below 30%
· Only spend money you already have in your checking account
· Make more than your minimum debt payments
· Pay your balance off in full every month
When you have debt, it can be tempting to simply pay the minimum monthly payment the lender requires of you. That way, you have more money each month to spend on other things.
The problem is that you would end up spending way more money in the long run. Depending on the amount of debt you are in, paying your debt off faster could save you hundreds, thousands, or even more in interest.
The sooner you pay your able to pay your debt off, the sooner you have that money available each month to put somewhere else in your budget.
And remember there are other downsides to having debt. Suppose you wanted to purchase a house. If you have too much debt, a lender is unlikely to accept you for a mortgage.
Avoid monthly payments –
Stores try to convince customers to spend money by looking at a purchase as a monthly payment rather than the full purchase price. New financial services offer you to use a monthly payment for just about everything nowadays, whether it’s a £1,000 computer or a £25 top.
But in the end these payment plans force you to spend more money in the long run. And make you normalize the habit of having monthly payments.
But there are exceptions. When it comes to buying a house, you’ll almost certainly borrow money and have a monthly payment. But for smaller purchases, you should avoid monthly payments as much as possible.
Continue to learn about money –
Even if you feel like you’ve got the financial side down, there’s always more room to learn.
As you achieve certain goals, there’s likely more things to learn for the next one. Let’s say you finally paid off all your debt and have learned to stick to your budget. Now it might be time to pick up a book on investing.
Learn your spending triggers –
Everyone has their own spending triggers. For some people, they see a sales email in their inbox that’s their trigger. For others, it’s walking past stores. For others, it might be having a really bad day.
One of the best ways to save money is to identify what your spending triggers and find ways to deal with them.
Let’s say one of your spending triggers is sales emails from your favourite store. An easy way to combat this would be to unsubscribe from that store’s emails.
Maintain an emergency fund –
I think 2020 taught people the importance of having an emergency fund. Millions of people lost their jobs this year, and the pandemic resulted in large medical bills for many families.
Even if your finances weren’t affected by the pandemic, chances are that you had a financial emergency in the past that you struggled with.
If you’re just getting started and still have debt like credit cards to pay off, I recommend saving for at least one month’s worth of expenses in your emergency fund. Eventually, you can work up to 3-6 months.
The important piece is making sure you are replenishing your emergency fund when you use it. Let’s say you’ve got £5,000 in your emergency fund and end up with £1,000 worth of car repairs. Your emergency fund is going to be down to £4,000. Your next financial priority should be replace that £1,000 before you start saving for anything else.
Meal plan –
Meal planning has been the single most effective way for me to cut down on grocery spending.
If you go into the grocery store without a list, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’re going to overspend. But if you make a meal plan and grocery list ahead of time.
Not only does meal planning help you not only buy the things you really need, but it also allows you to price meals out ahead of time, so you know roughly how much you’ll spend.
Give to causes you’re passionate about
For many people, 2020 really showed the importance of financially supporting causes that are important to you.
Charitable giving in 2020 increased from the previous year, despite the financial struggles many faced. And a special provision in the tax law has allowed everyone to deduct up to £300 for donations, even if they don’t itemize their deductions.
Chances are you already know which causes are most important to you, whether it’s combating climate change, protecting animals, promoting diversity, etc.
Whatever it is, look at your budget and see if you can swing a small monthly donation to your favourite causes.
Don’t try to keep up with the trends
As we earn more money, we tend to subconsciously increase our spending to go with it — aka lifestyle inflation.
We upgrade apartments or homes. We buy nicer cars. We eat at nicer restaurants than we did when we had our first jobs. We spend more on clothing, home decor, etc.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these things. In fact, I tell my coaching clients they should identify areas of their lives where they spend guilt-free — for Brandon and I, it’s live music and eating out.
But it becomes a problem when you spend more in every category.
A good way to combat this problem is to decide ahead of time how you’ll upgrade your lifestyle. If you get a raise, decide ahead of time which spending categories you’ll increase, and which will stay the same. That way they don’t all increase without you noticing.
2023 can be the year you turn your finances around and reach all your goals. By implementing just a few of these financial habits on this list, you’ll be amazing at the progress you see.