The start of a new year is the optimal time to review your current financial situation so you can check your spending habits and investments and evaluate any past or new debt you’ve taken on. January has been deemed Financial Wellness Month to remind us to pay closer attention to our financial well-being. It comes right after the hustle, bustle, and spending that comes with the holiday season — a perfect way to slow down and prepare our finances for the new year and our lives as a whole.
At DBHW Wealth Partners, our mission is to get to know and understand your needs, wants, and long-term goals. We can help you develop, implement, and monitor a financial strategy that’s designed to address your individual situation.
There are many areas to prioritize healthy financial habits in 2024, but I suggest starting with these key areas.
Set Clear Financial Goals
The foundation of financial success lies in setting clear and achievable goals. Whether saving for retirement, buying a home, or funding your child's education, defining your objectives will help you prioritize your financial decisions. Our team at DBHW Wealth Partners can assist you in aligning your goals with a personalized financial plan.
Create a Budget (and Stick to It)
The best way to create a new budget or stick to one you set for yourself previously is to review how much money is going into your accounts each month and how much is going out. For starters, it’s best to check a few critical areas outside of your mortgage, insurance, and household bills to ensure you’re not drastically overspending in one specific area.
- At-Home Entertainment – e., streaming services.
- Food – e., eating out at restaurants, meal delivery, etc.
- Entertainment – e., movie theatres, concerts, etc.
- Shopping – e., multiple subscription services
- Miscellaneous Impulse Purchases
After you’ve set a budget or adjusted yours from the previous year, it’s best to revisit the plan once a quarter to ensure there are not any significant updates to be made. Setting a budget is arguably the most critical area to set yourself up for success and has been proven to cause less stress. It helps you keep your eye on your long-term financial goals and provides a sense of financial security when uncertain situations arise where you need to dip into your savings.
Build an Emergency Fund
Life is unpredictable, and having a financial safety net is essential. Aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. This emergency fund will provide peace of mind and financial security in the face of unexpected challenges.
Make your money work for you by investing wisely. Diversify your investment portfolio to spread risk and maximize returns. Our team of experienced financial advisors at DBHW Wealth Partners can guide you in selecting the right mix of investments based on your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives.
Review and Adjust Your Retirement Plan
Regularly review your retirement savings plan to ensure it aligns with your current lifestyle and future aspirations. The amount individuals can contribute to their 401(k) plans in 2024 increased to $23,000 – up from $20,500 for 2023. Our team of financial advisors can assist you in optimizing your retirement strategy to meet your evolving needs and changes from the IRS.
Manage Debt Responsibly
High-interest debt can be a significant obstacle to financial well-being. Properly managing your cash flow and debt is critical to financial stability. Our team can identify your sources of income and fixed and fluctuating expenses and prioritize how to pay down accumulated debt. Whether you are looking to purchase a new home, pay off credit card debt, or start a business – we can analyze your operating cash flow, revenues, and expenses to ensure you make the best decisions to reach your financial goals.
Plan Ahead for Your Children
Individuals, parents, or even grandparents often wish they had started earlier to save for education costs. I always suggest that the beginning of the year is a great time to review or educate yourself on new investments or saving vehicles. Many of our clients strive to pay for or contribute to their children’s or grandchildren’s education, and in today’s world, with the growing cost of education, it’s never too early to start. At DBHW Wealth Partners, our team is equipped to advise you on several tax-efficient education-saving accounts that can potentially ease the burden of higher education costs.
Starting the year off right by thinking about your personal financial wellness requires dedication, planning, and expert guidance. At DBHW Wealth Partners, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your financial aspirations in 2024 and beyond. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to reach out to our team.