The new year is life’s way of giving us a fresh start — a clean slate of opportunities. That’s where new year’s resolutions come in! Before you roll your eyes, resolutions aren’t necessarily pie-in-the-sky wishful thoughts. We like to think of resolutions as “intentions”. They can be practical, like making time to read more, learning a new language, or working on a fitness regimen. And financial goals are no exception. If you’re ready to take control over your budgeting and spending habits, we’re here to help financially empower you.
Make 2022 the year of you with these attainable financial goals:
1. Decide exactly what you want to achieve in 2022
In case you need a reminder, you’re the CEO of your life, which means picking goals to accomplish is entirely up to you. Whether that’s working on paying off student loans, traveling more, or saving up for a house, write down exactly what you want to make happen. And be as specific as possible! As you iron out the details of your aspirations, create a timeline along with a set of actions you can commit to.
2. Ready? Set... budget!
In order to manifest any dream, you gotta budget, budget, budget. Think of it as paving a financial roadmap to whatever goals you’re striving for. Much like goal-setting, it’s better to be specific about budgeting. This way you know precisely what it takes to get where you’re headed. For example, it’s one thing to tell yourself, “I’m going to save more money this year” but it’s much more actionable to say “I’m going to put aside $100 every month”.
3. Build emergency savings like your life depends on it –– because one day it might
As we know all too well by now, life is full of plot twists that we almost never see coming. That’s why building emergency savings is a solid plan of action for future you. It provides a safety net to fall back on in case unexpected expenses or hard times pop up, like medical bills, car accidents, even unemployment. Putting money away for safekeeping can be as easy as creating a designated savings account and scheduling an auto-transfer of allotted funds every time your paycheck hits. It’s like the saying goes, “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.
4. Nip debt in the bud once and for all
Until someone invents a “get out of debt free card”, the onus to pay back our debts is inevitably on us. One sure-fire, albeit gradual, step you can take to reach financial nirvana is to chip away at outstanding balances. Pronto. Falling behind on payments or bills can have a negative impact on credit scores, ultimately making it harder to build back up. If you’re not sure where to start with prioritizing debts, begin with balances (if any) that have high-interest rates or are long overdue in comparison to others.
5. Put a pin in impulsive spending
A new pair of shoes, headphones and even those “necessary” iced coffees will always call our name. Before you make any sudden moves though, take a night to sleep on it. Or turn those “coffee runs” into brewing at home. Adding a waiting period to every potential purchase can help curb frivolous spending or buyer’s remorse. You may end up deciding that “must-have” you saw while scrolling Instagram is more of a “when the time is right”.
6. Set bills to auto-pay so you never miss a payment
If you’re still manually paying your bills, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Look, we get the reasoning behind this method (i.e. having control over where money is going and when) but it’s actually adding more work to your money management. Handling recurring bills like rent, utilities, even cell phone bills, is less of a hassle when you opt for auto-pay. And it’s totally flexible — there’s always the option to pause or reschedule. Plus, your credit score won’t get dinged!
7. Re-evaluate your social spending habits
This might seem obvious, but have you tried spending less money? There are lots of ways you can comfortably cut back (while still balancing a healthy social life) like making meals at home and saving dining out for weekends or special occasions. If you aren’t already, pay attention to just how much “going out” costs — including rideshares, restaurants, even ordering in for a low-key game night. To really get a sense of where the fun money is going, you can also comb through and categorize past expenses.
8. But first, pay yourself
Divvying up a paycheck for bills, groceries, etc. can get tricky at times, and may leave you feeling as if there’s nothing left to show for yourself. The truth is, you can muster a decent amount of spare change for yourself. The truth is, you can muster an amount of spare change for yourself. A fail-proof way to grow your wealth is to transfer a portion of your paycheck (or any source of income) directly into a savings account. You can simply schedule an auto-transfer to help increase funds bit by bit without ever having to think about it.
9. Swap subscription services for shopping IRL
When was the last time you tallied up the costs of all your subscriptions services? Most subscription-based companies tout their monthly fees as “low-cost” but what you spend in total could be far from affordable. Start by taking a good hard look at all of your active subscriptions. Compare each monthly fee, add up the costs, and ask yourself, “do I really need this fifth streaming service or grocery delivery?”. You might be surprised which services are easily replaceable with shopping, and what provides the truest value in terms of saving money and time.
10. Level up your credit score with Sezzle Up
It may seem arbitrary that three little numbers could have a great deal of influence over our financial wellness, but they very much hold a lot of meaning and power. In a good way! Having a healthy credit score can make life choices easier, including getting a cell phone plan, buying a house or a car, and qualifying for lower interest rates on loans. Think of credit as a gateway to financial freedom. And it’s never too late to get started! That’s why we created Sezzle Up — the first (and only) Buy Now, Pay Later solution that offers an opportunity to boost credit scores. Sezzle Up also unlocks account perks like seeing your spending limit, so you have even more buying power.