2024 New Year and Piggy Bank on table

New Year, New Budget: Mastering Your Finances into the New Year

As the holiday season progresses and the new year approaches, you are probably starting to think about your resolutions and what you would like to do in the upcoming year. Maybe you want to travel somewhere new with your family, maybe buy a house you have been saving up for, or maybe you just want to improve your financial wellbeing. No matter what the new year holds for you, budgeting and properly managing your finances will always help you have the best year possible. To get you started on reaching your financial goals for the upcoming year, here are our top tips for budgeting and mastering your finances in 2024—

Revisit Your Existing Budget

Let’s face it—making a brand new budget from scratch every year can be a long, stressful process. If you have put in the work of creating a comprehensive budget for yourself before, revisiting this budget is a great way to prepare for the new year. If your previous budgets have been successes, consider using them as templates for your new budget, inputting your changing financial needs into your tried and tested format. Maybe you want to try a new way of budgeting, but don’t want to start from scratch again. If you are looking for a new guide or template, try something like the 50/30/20 plan. This would include allocating 50% of your budget to necessities, like rent, utilities, water, and your necessary groceries. 30% would be allocated to your wants, like entertainment and restaurant nights. The final 20% would go towards savings and any outstanding debt you may have. You could try a 30/30/30 plan, or any other variation of this template. Whatever your plans for the year, don’t spend any unnecessary time coming up with a brand new budget if you don’t have to.

Take Stock of Debt

A great way to start the year off fresh is to prioritize paying off any debts you may have. Take stock of your outstanding debts, whether they be student loans, mortgages, car loans, or any other kinds of debt you want to get rid of. Incorporating your debt payments into your budget at the start of the year allows you to stay on top of it and make sure that these payments do not get lost in your list of other expenses. Make this the year you finally become debt-free.

Set Your Savings Goals

While setting up your new budget for your new year, ask yourself how much you want to save over the next twelve months. Instead of factoring in how much you will save after you have already planned out your expenses, set a feasible savings amount when you start. This way, you will always have this built into your budget, and your savings goals will be easily achievable.

Plan Ahead

You never know what’s going to happen over the course of a year, and surprise expenses can wreak havoc on your financial plans. These could unforeseen medical expenses, car or house repairs, tax increases, and so much more. These could also be more positive unforeseen expenses, like travel opportunities or having a child. Whatever the year throws your way, do you best to prepare by setting aside a portion of your funds for unexpected expenses. It could be an emergency fund, or just an extra savings fund for when you need it. Be prepared, and be able to stick to your budget even in unexpected circumstances.

Creating a stable budget and taking full control of your finances is a great way to make sure your new year aspirations become a reality. When your finances are in line, you are free to focus on the things that matter to you, and accomplish everything you want in the new year. If you become overwhelmed trying to manage your finances or need some guidance in creating your budget, our financial experts at 1st Advantage Bank are here to help. They will get to know everything they can about your goals and concerns, and offer you advice, support, and resources to help you take control of your finances for a successful year. If you think speaking with one of our financial experts could help you feel free to contact us. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender