Planning for the New Year Ahead

Each new year, people make resolutions and set ambitious goals to better their financial health. Planning can help achieve these goals. It’s important to be aware of your wants and needs as you look forward and reflect on the previous year. Doug Reedy, Vice President and Relationship Manager at Workers Credit Union, has tips that can help.

Take Inventory

Think about where you are now, what you achieved in 2023, and where you may have fallen short. By looking at your success and failures from the previous year, you will be better able look forward and set new goals. Did you build your credit? Did you save what you wanted? Did you make progress paying off your credit card debt? These are all questions to reflect on as you look forward to making more financial progress in the new year. Even if you didn’t reach all your goals last year, it’s always important to remember that you may have made small progress. For example, a Workers Credit Union member who was in a tough position at the end of 2022 worked with Reedy to set goals. She wrote them down and hung the paper up on her fridge. Each day, she was able to tally up and see her progress, even if it seemed insignificant at the time. By the end of the year, each small win added up to show everything she accomplished.

Plan for Expected and Unexpected Life Events

Change can happen to anyone, whether it’s moving, changing jobs, getting married, having children or anything else. If you know the timing of a big occasion, you can build that into your financial plan. It’s also important to have an emergency fund with savings for 3-6 months for those unexpected events, like a layoff. This provides a safety net when needed and should be built into your saving plan for the new year.

Understand Your Goals

After setting your goals, break down what you need to do in small steps to make progress. For example, if you want to save $10,000 or buy a car, set a short-term goal of saving $100 a week toward it. That will make your goal seem more attainable over time. By writing down your plan, creating a vision board or setting calendar reminders, you can stay on top of those smaller steps. Whether it’s saving weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly, this will help you get closer to achieving your goals by the end of the year. It’s also beneficial to enlist a partner like a spouse, friend, financial coach, or someone else you trust who can work with you when things get hard and keep you accountable.

At the end of the day, we’re all human. Surrounding yourself with supportive relationships can go a long way in achieving your financial goals. You do not need to know everything, that is why there are experts like Workers Way Financial Wellness Coaches who are there to help. Like a doctor is an expert in health, financial coaches use their expertise to give you the guidance and advice needed to plan as you approach the new year and get ready for a happy and rewarding 2024.


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