Money Monday: Financial Resolutions

pink piggy bank floating, but underwater representing debt

#MoneyMonday

Here’s our resolution: this year, while we’ll continue to cover core financial challenges and concepts, we’ll also explore this from a faithful management perspective, especially given the uncertainties of 2023. Would Congress and other government deliberative bodies make different decisions if the monies spent were theirs and they were held more accountable? Would you make different financial decisions regarding your spending, investing and savings habits if you are a manager instead of an owner ?

By now you have made your 2023 financial plan. If not, there is just one day left in January 2023 to get going!  Most Americans determine their top three financial goals for this year are: to save more money, pay down or pay off debt, and spend less money. If any of these, or all three, resonate with you, let’s begin to lay the foundation for a successful outcome in 2023.

Saving More Money:

While it’s a worthy, important and admirable goal to save more money, your game plan and practicability will also need to be real. When I was growing up my dad would tell me I needed to save money for the rainy day. While I didn’t quite understand what it meant, I figured out much later and realized that saving could be complex. How much of your income you save is the first dilemma.

If, for example you are planning to save 10% of your income, how much of that should be allocated towards retirement, vacation, emergency fund?  Or, should you just place all your saving into an emergency fund and when you have reached your goal, move on to the next saving item?

Your successful approach to saving will have these key elements.

Saving should be specific. Saving more money is not a goal unless tied to something specific. Here it is! A goal without a plan, is a wish!

Savings goals should be relevant.  If the goal is not relevant or important to you, you’ll probably never get there.

Your approach to savings should be measurable. What data or tool will you use to measure your progress? You must determine how and when you are going to evaluate your progress.

Your goal is achievable. The goal of saving more money needs to be within your capacity or capabilities. I call this the real factor. While each goal contains an element of ambition, ensure that your saving plan is within your economics.

Set a deadline.

 

 

Paying Debt Down or Off

If getting rid of your debt is the goal for 2023, let’s begin with your credit cards. During these inflationary times, more people are using their credit cards to survive. But perhaps no debt is more disproportionately affecting you than your credit cards. For example store credit cards have reached interest rates of 30% and the APR on your Visa and Master Card are not far behind.

According to Lending Tree, an online loan marketplace company, the average card holder owes just over $6,500.00 in debt. If you fail to eradicate or pay down this debt, your pain will increase so long as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in hopes of slowing down inflation. In this arena your options are limited. Acquiring a home equity line of credit could make sense Given the average rate of 7.3% when compared to 19% interest on your credit cards. The big question is can you afford to essentially increase your monthly mort-gage payments? While swiping to a credit card with a lower interest rate has benefits, opening up new credit cards would impact your history and credits scores.

On the subject of credit score, let me introduce to some of you the term wallet score. Your wallet score is like your credit score except, it includes and grades other areas of your finances beyond your credit score. Your wallet score will consider your emergency readiness, retirement planning, spending habits and other areas of your finances to provide a more complete picture.

WHAT’S UP!

Today’s what’s up is about filing your taxes . You should be on the look-out for your tax documents from January 31, if not before. Then, file your tax return as early as possible. Why? With the increased number of scammers and those perpetrating tax fraud, you must become pro-active; file early and get that refund to avoid headaches later on. If a refund is within your reach this year, filing early can prove to be a fraud buster or defense .
And that’s what’s up!

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assis-tant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC . Give2Get Rich, LLC 2023. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

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