The new year is upon us. As always, it’s a great time to think about goal setting for the next year. Getting financially fit is something many of us strive to do but few actually achieve. So what can you do to reach this goal in 2023? Here are some suggestions to get started:

Set Financial Goals
What do you hope to achieve in the near and distant future. It’s important to set small goals and big goals. For instance, a small goal could be that you want to pay off a credit card, where a bigger goal would be you want to save for a down payment on a house. Put some thought into this and write your goals down. It will make them easier to achieve if they are written down and always top of mind and part of your financial plan and budget.

Check Your Credit Report
When you are trying to get out of debt there is nothing worse than having to explain someone else’s. It’s important to do an annual check on your credit report to look for any inaccurate information – which can help you spot identity theft and fraud. It’s also a good idea to look at your report to get a better picture of what a lender may see, which will help you better understand your current financial situation.

Conduct A Financial Audit
Write down everything, we mean everything. What bills are you paying? What automatically comes out of your account? How much do you spend a week on groceries, coffee, eating out, etc.? And most importantly how much is coming in. If you are looking to save a bit of money, prioritize your list…. What needs to be paid? What are extras you don’t need to have? For instance, if you have six streaming services, are you using all of them?

Build a Budget and Stick to It
The best way to stay on track is to build a budget and stick to it. If needed set up a separate savings account to make sure you are saving for your goals and have a savings account for your emergency reserve. If it helps, download a budgeting app to make sure you stay the course.

Save for an Emergency Fund
You never know what could happen and a having a healthy emergency fund is a perfect way to ensure you are prepared for whatever life throws at you. The general rule of thumb is to save three to six months of expenses.