A new year can mean a fresh start. A new chapter. A blank page. Before you start putting ink into a notebook, think about your financial goal for the year. Get into the nitty-gritty details. Ask yourself questions and answer them honestly.
If you want to buy a house this year and need to save money, how much are you planning to save? What amount should you put away each month or paycheck? How will you hold yourself accountable? Or is your goal to pay off debt? How much debt do you have? What can you put towards it each month while still meeting your financial obligations?
When it comes to financial resolutions, ultimately, all questions lead you down to a singular path. The B-word: Budgeting. Budgeting is truly the most useful tool to achieve your goals because it can help you develop healthy financial habits and curb overspending.
Now, you may be saying, “Yolo—I’ve tried budgeting before, and it’s just not for me. Any advice?”
Absolutely! Just like learning any other new thing, if you’re new to budgeting, or it isn’t already a habit, it takes time and dedication. Give yourself a commitment goal and be open to trying different tools until you find what works for you. The thing about budgeting is that there is no one way to go about it. In fact, there are many different types of budgeting options out there; and each one can be adjusted to meet your needs and help you reach your goals. Here are three very popular kinds of budgets that we’ve previously discussed in blog posts:
- Zero Based Budgeting: makes the most of every dollar in your budget—where every part of your monthly income is assigned and used deliberately.
- Pay Yourself First: reprioritize your paycheck to pay yourself before paying your bills.
- 50-30-20 Budgeting: allocates your income to buckets where 50% are dedicated to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to financial goals.
Remember, budgets are fluid! While you may set your budget in January, it’s essential to reevaluate monthly or several times throughout the year to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals. Having a tool to help you track your spending habits, set your budgets, and meet your goals is nearly just as important as getting started on your financial resolutions. It’s why we are excited to announce our new Money Track personal financial management tool. Money Track allows you to connect all of your financial institution accounts and loans to one location so you can seamlessly monitor your money. Click here to learn more about our new Money Track tool.
With the right guidance, tools, and resources, the path to achieving your goals is easier than you think! Remember, local doesn’t mean limited. As Yolo County’s #1 Best Credit Union, you’ll find everything you need to make your financial goals a reality, whether that’s just down the street—or right on our website! For even more resources, check out our online financial education program, Achieve, where you’ll find topic-specific playlists fit for every goal. Need some help getting your financial resolutions on track? Schedule an appointment with a local expert today!