January is a popular time to try and turn over a new leaf and commit to new behaviors that will help you meet your life goals. The problem is, resolutions to change behavior rarely last more than a few weeks or months at best. When it comes to finances, a few weeks of good behavior or heightened attention at the start of the year just won’t cut it. Good financial behaviors need to be practiced year long, year-in-and-year-out, to be impactful.
But for those of you craving a New Year’s resolution that can help you be more financially fit, here’s one practice we suggest for the start of each year:
At the beginning of each year, write down your short-term and long-term goals. Note why those goals are important to you and share the information with your advisor. It will help you prioritize the near-term steps you need to take to make progress. And, it could shed light on where you may want help and advice in the year ahead.
The beginning of the calendar year is also a good time to make notes on what cash flow, debt, tax, legal, and/or insurance issues might be popping up in the next 12 months. For example:
Are there debts that you would like to eliminate this year?
If so, strategically target debts with the least favorable terms first.
Have you made any improvements to your property or acquired new valuables?
If so, consider reviewing your property insurance (homeowners, renters, etc.), increasing coverage and/or adding riders as appropriate.
Did you fail to make an IRA contribution for the prior tax year, but would like to do so?
If so, you have until Tax Day (excluding extensions) this year to make a contribution for last year.
Start your financial year off right with our comprehensive Start of the Year Financial Checklist. The list covers more than 40 different points that will set you up for financial success in the New Year.
More Ways To Prep Your Finances for 2022
- Register for our 2022 Market Outlook webinar later this month. Our Chief Investment Officer, Bob Weisse, will be sharing Heritage’s view on what to expect from stock and bond markets this year, as well as our thoughts on inflation, interest rates, and more. Join us live at 11 AM EST on January 25th. If you can’t make it live, register anyway and we’ll send you the replay after so you can watch it at your convenience.
- Subscribe to our blog for the latest market and economic insights, and to be the first to hear about our upcoming events.
- All done writing down your goals but looking for an advisor to help you pull all the parts of your financial plan together into one cohesive strategy? Learn how you can test-drive working with Heritage Financial.
- Stay tuned for our soon-to-be-launched PODCAST…more details coming soon!