If you like to set goals at the beginning of each year, take the opportunity to take financial resolutions to keep your bills up to date and have a more peaceful year. If a new year is synonymous with a new life, it can also be the beginning of a new stage in which, with finances in order, it becomes easier to fulfill other dreams and resolutions.
The year changes and there are always new prices and, sometimes, other welcome increases, as happens, for example, with the minimum wage or pensions. So why not take the opportunity to make some changes in your financial life?
The last few years may have been challenging from a financial standpoint, but that’s just one more reason to make financial resolutions that can be helpful during periods when income is lower.
Find out, then, some ways to prepare for a year with fewer financial upheavals.
Financial resolutions for 2023: 7 (good) suggestions
We all want to save and you have certainly expressed this intention several times. That’s exactly the problem. It’s just that often everything is just a good intention and expenses increase (and not always in the same proportion of income).
So where to start? The beginning of the year is an excellent time to create a financial plan that will help keep your accounts in balance.
The first step is therefore to create a family budget in which all expenses and income are recorded. By doing so, you will immediately understand if and where you are spending too much.
Then you have to try to balance the accounts, using a method that applies to all budgets, regardless of their size: cut spending and increase revenue.
Getting more income may seem difficult, but there are many ways to get a few more euros at the end of the month.
But the most important part of the two savings-related financial resolutions is actually cutting back on spending. This cut can be more or less radical, depending on the balance or imbalance of your finances.
You can go, for example, by renegotiating contracts or looking for better conditions for those you have. And this applies to housing loans as well as to the electricity supplier or insurance. Ask for proposals, compare values and see which hypothesis allows you to spend less.
Reduce bank charges by opting for a minimum services account and see what you can do to lower your loan spread or the amount of installments. Close the bank accounts you don’t use and cancel all the services you don’t use, because if you have an inactive bank account you may be paying commissions.
If finances are already a little loose, taking out more credit is not at all advisable. Instead, consider creating an emergency fund, leveraging, for example, holiday and Christmas allowances and IRS refunds. Or start preparing for retirement by subscribing to a PPR.
Do you find it difficult to have money to put aside? Start by joining a savings system that allows you to accumulate almost without feeling that you are saving.
Combine financial resolutions with other New Year’s resolutions and get rid of wallet-friendly habits: smoking, eating out a lot or using the car on routes that you can walk. These are good ideas for your health and will make you spend less.
Impulse shopping is another habit you can break in the new year. Before you buy, consider the relationship between quality, utility and price. If it is very cheap and of low quality, it will most likely be short-lived. If it’s something you’re not going to use much, then it’s not worth buying, even if it’s cheap and good.
When impulse purchases are combined with a credit card, the result may not be good. So, and to ensure that you are not spending more than you can or should, save that means of payment for an emergency.
If you don’t usually ask for an invoice when you go shopping, to the hairdresser or out to dinner, this is a good time to change your habits. Do not forget that these expenses, such as, for example, car repairs, gyms or veterinarians can make you pay less IRS next year.
Another habit you can create in the new year is to stop ignoring so-called phantom costs. That is, those expenses such as IUC, insurance or house maintenance that, because they are not fixed, tend to be forgotten.
Trace financial goals
Again, financial resolutions can be added to the resolutions you made on New Year’s Eve. Want to take a trip? Is this the year you’re going to have the wedding party you’ve always wanted? Or are you going to go back to school? All of this costs money, but it can be easier if you set goals.
For example: earn 2,500 euros by June or reach the end of each month without having spent more than half of your salary. Or have, by the end of next year, enough to be able to change cars.
By setting goals for your life, you are also creating a savings commitment. And, as we’ve seen, there are many ways to save every day.
So, if financial difficulties arise, talk to creditors. Your bank can trigger the PARI or choose to renegotiate or consolidate loans. And don’t forget that, until December 2023, your bank is obliged to renegotiate a mortgage loan agreement, in accordance with certain conditions.
Even debts to the State can be paid in installments, thus avoiding coercive collections that could end up in attachment.
If you don’t know what to do, there are entities that can help you deal with these situations and provide free support.
Your financial resolutions can also be good for the planet. At a time when climate change is becoming more worrying, think about what you can do to have a “greener” year.
Consume less, recycle, reuse and repair instead of buying new are tips that you can put into practice in your daily life and that will be beneficial for your family budget.
Polluting less is also a good goal for the new year. Why not take the opportunity to buy a more sustainable vehicle and recover part of the investment you made? Or take advantage of tax benefits, such as IUC exemption, for electric and hybrid cars?
You can also take advantage of incentives to make your home more sustainable or even start producing the energy you consume.
Multiplying your money is one of the most common financial resolutions, but if the end is clear, the means of achieving that goal may seem more complex.
However, there are options for all profiles. From traditional time deposits to real estate funds, stocks, savings certificates or cryptocurrencies, investment solutions are suitable for almost everyone.
Before you start, it’s important to realize that not all guarantee the investment. That is, there are cases where you may lose part or all of what you invested. Therefore, and especially in cases of more complex financial products, make sure you understand how they work.
If you want to ensure they keep their savings untouched and are risk averse, take a more traditional savings account covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund.
Fulfill your financial resolutions
It will be of little use to make resolutions if, by the end of next year, you have not made progress towards implementing them. Thus, it is critical that financial resolutions are realistic. That is, don’t set goals that require too much sacrifice.
If you feel like you won’t be able to accomplish what you planned, readjust your goals and create new resolutions.