3 Financial Resolutions to Make in 2023

Now is a great time to look ahead and plan for the upcoming year. Many people notoriously set New Year’s resolutions that fall to the wayside halfway through January, but we want to help you set realistic and achievable goals. Here are some resolutions you can maintain throughout 2023.

Reframe your perspective on saving

It’s easy to set large savings goals at the beginning of the year that turn out to be unattainable later. Try to reframe the way you think about saving this year. Beginning or increasing your contributions to retirement savings, emergency funds, or specific savings goals is a realistic first step for many people. Instead of trying to save a large sum of money in one pot to cover all expenses, saving smaller amounts in different areas reframes your goals and makes them more attainable. Remember, any contribution to your savings accounts no matter how small – is a step in the right direction!

Get a better understanding of your credit

In an ideal world, a year is enough time to get out of credit card debt or improve your credit score. We know that emergencies and unexpected expenses are sometimes unavoidable. Understanding how credit works is a great way to set yourself up for success!

There are plenty of tips and tricks to know about your credit. For example, did you know that you can lower your interest payment while paying the same amount each month – by making two smaller payments throughout the month instead of one single payment at the end? And did you know that closing a credit card after you pay it off, actually lowers your credit score? There are plenty more adjustments you can make that will benefit you in the long run. If your goal is to start building your credit, explore First Financial’s credit card options with no annual fees!

Build a budgeting plan that works for you

Being realistic is a great way to ensure you’re able to maintain your goals. Understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all journey to finances. Just think about all the times you tried to save by cutting out things you spend on, and ultimately failed. When you’re starting your financial planning for 2023, make sure you look into all the ways you can budget.

There are plenty of resources on the internet with budgeting options that can fit your life better than a traditional approach. Putting effort into finding a plan that works for you is the best way to ensure you can stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Need a starting point? Check out our financial resources page!

Improving your finances starts with a single step in the right direction. Start planning for financial success in 2023 and set yourself up for long-term financial achievement! To speak to an expert about tools available through First Financial, call us at 732.312.1500 or stop by any of our local branches.

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Smart Money Moves to Make in January

It’s January, and if you looking at the upcoming year – you are (hopefully) thinking about your finances and trying to plan ahead. Here are three items to definitely include in your annual financial outlook, and this is a great time to review them.

Review Your Credit

With mobile phones, laptops, tablets and apps, it’s easy to stay connected to our finances these days. Your credit score is something that you should especially be paying close attention to. If you are thinking about buying a house, car, or acquiring any type of loan, knowing your credit score is very important. It’s also significant to review your credit report to see if everything is accurate, especially if you were subject to recent fraud or a data breach. Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each credit reporting agency every year, and the start of a new year is a good time to review yours as you plan for the year ahead. Not sure where to start? Check out annualcreditreport.com – it’s free, easy, and monitors your credit from all 3 major credit bureaus!

Focus on Saving Money

Even if you did a great job of saving money last year, you probably don’t have as much saved as you might like as of now. Fortunately, it’s the beginning of the year and there are many ways to reach your savings goals by December. An easy way is to automate your savings. More than likely your paychecks are directly deposited to your bank account. It’s extremely easy to add another account to your direct deposit, all you need to do it choose an amount you’d like to save for this year and redirect those funds to a separate savings account that you’ll vow to not touch during the year. Another way to save is add more to your retirement savings. If your employer matches or contributes in any way to your retirement – be sure to look at this and participate. This will mean a great deal later in your life. Not sure where to get started with retirement planning? Make an appointment with the Investment & Retirement Center located at First Financial.* Our financial advisors are here to talk you through the planning process and ensure you feel comfortable in your financial future!

The last way to save money is to go on a “financial fast.” We can almost guarantee that most of your spending doesn’t fall within the “need” category, right? Take a good look at how you’re spending your money and cut out your “wants.” This year, try not to waste your money either. Are you actually using the gym membership you are paying for, or watching Netflix or Hulu? If you aren’t – think about canceling these types of services and only pay for ones you are using on a regular basis.

Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?

If your emergency fund isn’t in good shape, or if you don’t have an emergency fund at all – make it your immediate new year’s resolution. If you have credit card debt that has been lingering for years, don’t let it stay around another year. Review your monthly budget as well, and make sure it fits your lifestyle and expenses. Maybe you keep track of your monthly bills, but what about the annual ones you might sometimes forget about? Be sure to think about any annual fees coming for the year ahead and try not to let them sneak up on you (i.e. property taxes each quarter, annual gym membership fee, and so on). A good strategy to follow this year is to write down or make a note in your smartphone for any once a year or quarterly bills that come up – this way you won’t forget about them moving forward.

Don’t forget that as a First Financial member, you are eligible to make an appointment or stop into any branch for an annual financial review. If you’d like to get your new year off on the right foot, contact us today!

*Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker/dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. First Financial Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) and The Investment & Retirement Center are not registered as a broker/dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using The Investment & Retirement Center, and may also be employees of FFFCU. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from and not affiliates of FFFCU or The Investment & Retirement Center.

Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:

Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency Not Credit Union Guaranteed Not Credit Union Deposits or Obligations May Lose Value

Article Source: John Pettit for CUInsight.com