< 1 minute read|Published by FAIRWINDS

7 To-Do’s for Starting a Financially Fit New Year

Reflect on achievements, set new goals, and tackle financial to-do's to start the New Year confidently.

As the year comes to an end, it's not only a time to reflect on all you’ve accomplished but also an opportunity to set new goals for the future. Before the New Year kicks off, use this time to complete these financial to-do’s so you can start the year with confidence.

1. Celebrate last year’s successes and opportunities.

Did you make progress towards paying down your credit card debt or building your savings last year? Take some time to celebrate! You’re one step closer to achieving financial freedom.

Now is the time to look back and determine what worked and where you can improve for the new year. Use spending analysis tools like our Goals and Budgets application to track your spending habits and view your progress to last year’s goals.

2. Set attainable goals for the New Year.

After analyzing last year’s progress, set goals for the new year that are realistic, specific, and measurable for the new year. Then, create a budget for the year that incorporates these goals and your planned expenses.

If you’re not sure where to start, receive your personalized financial plan to help you set financial goals and achieve them.

3. Create an effortless savings plan.

If you haven’t started paying yourself, there’s no better time to make it a priority. A great way to save is by setting up automatic transfers to make sure money goes to your savings each month.

You can also save effortlessly with our debit card round-up program, Change it Up. We’ll automatically round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, and the difference will go directly to your savings or to pay down debt.

4. Do your future self a favor.

During the first quarter of the year, some employers have annual performance pay increases — making this a great time to increase your 401(k) contributions. You won’t notice much of a difference in your paycheck once your raise kicks in, and you’ll be even more prepared for retirement when the time comes.

If you have an IRA, you have until April’s tax deadline to max out your contributions for the previous year and still enjoy the tax benefits on that return. If last year’s IRA is already maxed, use those funds to make the most of this year’s contributions — with an early start, you can make even more progress toward your retirement savings goals.

5. Take action on your taxes.

Begin gathering and organizing all the documents you’ll need to file your taxes, such as your W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, medical records, tuition receipts, and charitable donation receipts. Then, create a safe and secure spot to store these items as they arrive to keep things organized and simple when it’s time to file.

6. Check your credit.

Every 12 months, you can get a free copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you make it a habit to request yours every January, you can begin to track changes from year to year.

7. Shop around for a better deal

Every year, review what you’re paying for insurance, internet, and cable. In many cases, you could be paying less if you ask the right questions and take the time to shop around.

This is also a great time to determine if you’re paying for subscriptions and memberships you’re not using — like gym memberships, gaming sites, and satellite radio — and cancel them as soon as possible. The savings could add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

By following these tips, you’ll be prepared to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead confidently.

For other tips to help you achieve financial freedom faster, find out your Money Milestone. Your Money Milestone can help you find out where you’re at with your finances and help you stay focused and motivated toward your goals. Here's to a prosperous and financially fit New Year!