A new year brings a fresh start, and for many, spending less and saving more is a popular resolution. Getting better at managing finances doesn't have to be a goal you mention just at the top of the year; consider these five tips to help you budget that will last all year long.

  1. Set Realistic Goals So you want to buy a car, pay off debt, or save for that dream home - awesome! Whatever your financial goal, let it be realistic. You may not be able to save $100,000 for a down payment in one year, but is $10,000 more manageable? Set the goal, work backwards, and set realistic milestones to achieve it.
  2. Track Your Spending Budgeting apps have increased in the last decade, and they are great at helping you track spending and seeing where your money actually goes. You may think you're eating out once a week, but those mid-week visits to your local coffee shop might be putting a bigger dent in your wallet than you think. Gone are the days of manually reviewing your finances; let technology help automate and track spending.
  3. Create a Monthly Budget Money management can be... romantic? Set a money date once a month, no matter your relationship status, to help review your finances for the month ahead. This time can include reviewing accounts, adjusting savings goals, allocating funds for that birthday gift, and overall gaining control of your hard-earned money so you're not scrambling by the end of the month.
  4. Prioritize Debt Repayment Everyone is on a unique financial journey, and for many of us, debt is a part of that story. However, debt should be manageable and not overwhelming. Take time to review your debt and how much it costs you each month. Then, after allocating for your savings fund, prioritize paying down your debts to get you one step closer to financial freedom.
  5. Review and Adjust Regularly Just like any relationship, it's important to evaluate where you stand. Your relationship to money is no different. Maybe a raise or a side job gives you extra income to help pay off debts faster. Or a loss in income has you re-evaluating if you really can afford meal delivery services. Keep your relationship with money healthy by adjusting to your present circumstances for a successful, long-term future.

It starts with a first step - so what will it be for you? For some, it starts with downloading a budgeting app, and for others, it might mean setting monthly budget meetings with family or as an individual. Let 2024 be the year money management is made easy.

Talk to a Financial Partners expert to learn more about ways you can consolidate debt, pay less each month, and earn more on savings.