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Begin Your Journey for a Prosperous New Year

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Welcome to a brand-new year of possibilities! It’s the perfect time to reflect on your financial goals and set a course for a prosperous future. Assessing your financial health is about understanding where you are today to enable you to move confidently into the new year. Remember, it’s not about perfection but progress. So, celebrate your victories over the last year, big or small, and embrace the lessons learned. We present key tips for getting your finances in order and setting the stage for a successful 2024.

Reflect on the Past Year: Assess Your Financial Health

Before diving into the future, take a moment to look back on the past year. Review your financial statements, track your spending, and assess your progress toward your financial goals. This retrospective analysis can provide valuable insights into your financial habits and help you identify areas for improvement. Clarity is key to defining your financial goals for the year—funding that dream vacation, paying off debt, saving for a home, or investing for retirement. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, making them more achievable and allowing you to celebrate incremental successes along the way.

Update (or Create) Your Budget

As you gear up for the months ahead, think of your budget as a guide, helping you navigate financial decisions. Start by listing and prioritizing the goals you’ve set. Break down your budget by allocating funds for essentials, treating yourself occasionally, and putting extra way for spontaneous adventures. Remember to leave room for the unexpected because life has a way of surprising us. Aim to set aside three to six months of living expenses in a readily accessible account. Your goal for your emergency fund should fit within your budget. An emergency fund is crucial for navigating unexpected expenses without derailing your financial plans. Once you’ve met that goal, consider ramping up your investments and prioritizing wealth building.

Get Your Expenses in Order

Why not start the new year proactively? Create a detailed list of all your debts, including credit cards, loans, and outstanding bills. Organizing them by interest rates and outstanding balances can help prioritize repayment and provide a roadmap for tackling your debts strategically. Identify areas where you can cut back on non-essential spending to allocate more funds towards debt repayment. Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself but making informed choices to achieve your financial goals.

It’s also a great time to review other accounts like subscriptions and recurring monthly costs. You might be surprised to find some unexpected monthly fees you forgot you signed up for, like that extra subscription to ESPN to watch the big game you didn’t cancel after your free trial. Consider requesting a free credit report to check for any unwanted surprises on your credit score.1 However, before closing unused credit cards, it’s important to know how doing so might lower your credit score. Closing a credit card may impact your credit utilization ratio, hurting your credit score.2

Review Your Financial Plan

Start by revisiting your financial goals for the upcoming year. Are you saving for a major life event, planning for retirement, or aiming for short-term gains? Aligning your investment strategy with these objectives is crucial. Your investments should be working in harmony with your aspirations. Review your investment portfolio while taking note of any changes in your financial circumstances or goals that might necessitate a change in your investment portfolio. Consider consulting with your financial advisor to ensure your portfolio is well-balanced and positioned to meet your goals for the coming year and in the future. They can help you assess whether your portfolio is adequately diversified or if adjustments are needed to ensure a healthy balance.

Remember the other components of a sound financial plan. Take the time to review your insurance coverage, including but not limited to home, health, auto, and life insurance). The new year is a great time to plan for unforeseen events, even though they may be unlikely, by reviewing your insurance policies’ various terms and conditions.

Our last (but not least) tip as we begin 2024 is to review your estate plan to ensure there’s a plan for your assets. If there have been life changes, such as the birth of a child or buying or selling a home, it may be time to update your estate planning documents. Be sure to review the beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement plans and ensure they’re still accurate.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on this new financial year, remember that building a secure financial future is a gradual process. Implementing these tips can set you on the right path toward achieving your financial goals and weathering life’s uncertainties. By building a long-term plan and reviewing it regularly, you’ll be able to face the future confidently, knowing that your finances are in order. Stay disciplined, stay informed, and most importantly, stay committed to the journey of financial well-being. Contact us to see how we can help you on your financial journey. We’re here to help you along the way to a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year ahead!

1 August 28, 2023, How Do I Get a Free Copy of My Credit Reports?, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
2 Black, M. December 20, 2023, The Safe Way to Cancel a Credit Card, Investopedia,

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