Financial Goals for the New Year

Dec 31, 2022 | Personal Finance | 0 comments

new year financial goals

We love the energy of self improvement and personal development that the New Year brings! It’s a time of feeling excited and hopeful for what the year ahead will bring. Even more exciting is that one of the most popular trends every January is setting financial goals for the New Year! Finally – a trend we can get behind! 

If you’re wanting to improve your finances in the New Year we’re here to help. There is a real science to setting effective goals. Among other things, to make real progress, you need to be specific and set goals that you can connect with. But simply saying that you will “improve your finances” or “be better with money” is not enough. Which is why we’ve put together a few ideas for your financial goals in the New Year. 

How to Set Financial Goals for the New Year

Before we get into the specific suggestions for your financial goals in the New Year, it’s important to talk about how to set an effective goal. A quick Google search will show you tons of articles with ideas for your goals. From names like Morgan Stanly, Charles Schwab and even my personal favorite Investopedia.

But despite these highly reputable sources for a lot of financial advice, in all honesty, their suggestions for your goals are terrible. They are either vague, impersonal and incomplete, or overwhelming and unrealistic.

Setting Financial Goals You Will Actually Reach

The key is to find the balance. You want to set goals that move you forward without being so big that you don’t know what to do. This is why we recommend using S.M.A.R.T. Goals for your financial goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are something I learned in business school and quickly started implementing in my personal life. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or Achievable), Relevant and Time Bound.

In my experience as a Financial Coach and a personal finance expert, the most important thing is that your goal is measurable and time bound. These components of a good financial goal are commonly overlooked. But they are key to your success! Otherwise, how do you know when you reached your goal? How can you benchmark your progress and evaluate how it’s going? You simply cannot and without that information the odds of success are significantly diminished.

To learn more we go into more detail about setting S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals here. Now let’s talk about some ideas for your Financial Goals in the New Year!

New Year Financial Goals

Improve Your Money Mindset

Before you have a chance at improving your financial situation, you have to improve your mindset. So having a New Year Resolution specifically about your money mindset is a great place to start! By learning to release negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. You can adopt a more positive, growth mindset that will help you reach other goals.

But one of the issues with the topic of your “Money Mindset” is that it’s very broad and vague. So it’s best to focus on a small part of your money mindset that you know you want to improve. Like overcoming a limiting belief or conquering financial anxiety that’s getting in the way of progress.

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: Choose a specific limiting belief that you want to overcome. 
  • MEASURABLE: Determine how you will be able to tell once you’ve overcome that belief. Will it be a feeling or the ability to finally do something you hadn’t been able to do prior?
  • ATTAINABLE: To make it attainable to seek out tools or professional help. 
  • RELEVANT: Make sure it’s a limiting belief you actually have. Not some woo-woo nonsense.
  • TIME BOUND: Set deadlines for when you will complete certain tasks or try a positive money mindset habit. For example: writing down a Money Mantra daily for 30 days.

Increase Your Income

Optimizing your income is incredibly important, and you can reach Financial Freedom without a 6-figure salary. But the best way to reach your financial goals faster, is to increase your income! 

From picking up a side-hustle to starting your own business – and everything in between. There are a lot of ways to increase your income. Not only is it worth it to boost your efforts toward Financial Freedom, but it is critical if you want to build wealth! 

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: It is already specific because you want to increase your income, – but take it a step further by adding what income source. (i.e. side hustle, business or W2)
  • MEASURABLE: By how much will you increase your income? Dollars or a percent.
  • ATTAINABLE: Make sure to be realistic so that the goal is actually attainable, and your boss doesn’t think you’ve lost your mind.
  • RELEVANT: Did you just ask for a raise last week? Then maybe pump the breaks. Or try to figure out another way to increase your income
  • TIME BOUND: Put a deadline down for when you will negotiate your raise/promotion or reach that new business goal.

Invest More for Your Retirement

Whether you’re not investing at all, or just not as much as you’d like. You could probably benefit from investing more for your future.

Most Americans aren’t maxing out their retirement accounts, annually. Much less maxing out an investment strategy of complimenting accounts and varying annual limits. This is a great goal, especially if you are free from high interest debt and extra monthly cash flow!

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: You’re halfway there by making it about investing more in retirement. Answer the following questions to round it out.
  • MEASURABLE: By how much will you increase your investments? Monthly/Annually?
  • ATTAINABLE: Do you have the Cash Flow to increase it this much? If not, can you make any lifestyle changes to reach the goal?
  • RELEVANT: Is this really your top priority or do you feel financial anxiety elsewhere that needs to be addressed first? Like debt or cash management.
  • TIME BOUND: By what date do you want to be investing this much?

Buy a Home

Buying a home is a wonderful personal goal that takes a lot of financial planning. From improving your credit score to setting a budget and saving up a down payment. If this is the year you want to buy a home, start reviewing your personal finances now! 

Even if you find that this year is not ideal for you. Look for ways to prepare your finances, so you will be ready when the time is right. But with markets and interest being out of our individual control, it’s difficult to know when you’ll find the right home for you. This is also one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, so we don’t suggest putting a time stamp on when you will buy a home. Rather focusing on controlling what you can control and putting a deadline on when you will be ready to meet with mortgage brokers and real estate agents! 

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: Buying a house – Where? What’s it like?
  • MEASURABLE: What is my budget and how much of a down payment do I need?
  • ATTAINABLE: Is your budget aligned with your income and others financial goals?
  • RELEVANT: Is home ownership what you want? Or were you just told it was a good investment.
  • TIME BOUND: By what date do you want to be ready to buy a home?

Travel More!

Who doesn’t love to travel? Seeing new places, doing new things, eating new foods!

But one thing we don’t love is traveling on debt. Coming home to what we call a “Travel Hangover” is the worst. Adding tons of stress and anxiety, it takes all of the fun out of an otherwise wonderful trip.

So if your goal this year is to travel more – set a financial goal that aligns with that. Start setting your budget and savings goals for the year’s travel fund, now!

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: Where do you want to travel to? Locally or internationally?
  • MEASURABLE: What is your budget?
  • ATTAINABLE: Is your travel budget in alignment with your financial goals? 
  • RELEVANT: Are you traveling how you want to or are you being pressured to spend more by travel partners?
  • TIME BOUND:  Can you save this much by the time your trip comes?

 

If traveling more in the new year is your goal, you should also check out our 10 Money Saving Travel Tips

Fight Less about Money

Whether you’re dating, engaged or married, fighting about money is sadly common. But it doesn’t have to be. 

One of the best things we’ve done for our relationship as a couple were prioritizing our personal finances and learning how to talk about money. This is a lifelong process that takes work. But it’s work worth doing! 

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: What areas of your finances are difficult to discuss with your partner?
  • MEASURABLE: How long it’s been since your last argument about money
  • ATTAINABLE: Have you made a plan together to reach this goal?
  • RELEVANT: Are you both personally investing in achieving this goal?
  • TIME BOUND: When will you know you’ve reached your goal?

Give Generously

“Donate more money” is one of the top answers to the question “what would you do if money wasn’t a problem”. 

People love to give and help those who they love, or even to those they don’t know. But sharing wealth is one of the most rewarding things you can do with it! So if this is your goal we encourage you to set very intentional S.M.A.R.T. Goals that make your giving intentional and impactful.

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal 

  • SPECIFIC: Who do you want to give to? Friends, family, organizations?
  • MEASURABLE: How much do you want to donate?
  • ATTAINABLE: Do you have this much to give? Can you afford it?
  • RELEVANT: Is this personally important to you? Will you resent this gift?
  • TIME BOUND: How often will you donate or when do you want to give the gift?

 

Get more New Year Resolution Ideas here!

Make Your Financial Goals a Reality

If you want to make your financial goals a reality in the New Year, it starts with setting effective goals. From there it’s about putting the right systems in place. Surrounding yourself with reminders to reinforce your actions and keep you focused. Consider making a Vision Board for your Financial Goals to act as a visual reminder of what you’re working towards. And look for ways to hold yourself accountable to ensure you follow through on your commitment to your goals.

 

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