Prioritizing financial wellness as a New Year’s resolutions for 2018? Natalie Kurtzman of The Boston Day Book shares her 2018 personal finance goals.
The start of a new year and creating a New Year’s resolution is exhilarating. As I prepare for a fresh beginning, I like to brainstorm personal finance goals that will motivate me to change a habit or to work towards a long-term plan. Creating a New Year’s resolution can be overwhelming; many are too lofty and unattainable. You want to be sure that you set yourself up for success when it comes to financial wellness.
As I look ahead to the next five or ten years, I know that financial wellness is a top priority for my family. It can be overwhelming to envision where you’d like to be in five or ten years, and much easier to break it down into manageable increments of time. What are you hoping to accomplish this year that will contribute to that long term goal?
Small lifestyle shifts can in fact have a big impact. Imagine what saving a few dollars each month means five years down the road? In that spirit, here are some financial resolutions that I have set for 2018.
Pay Quarterly Taxes
My husband, Matt, and I are both self-employed. We enjoy working for ourselves and the freedom that comes from being in control of our schedules, but it can be a little scary come tax time. In 2018, I would like to get ahead and pay quarterly taxes so that we aren’t hit with a huge bill at the end of the year.
When it comes to financial health, so much of feeling comfortable is predicting what kinds of big expenses you’ll have in the future. Of course some things are unknown like large health care bills or car repairs (which I like to save for in our emergency savings fund). The truth is that taxes don’t need to be a big scary unknown, and we can save for them throughout the year to feel ahead of the curve.
Matt and I put a big chunk of our earnings into a safe place for taxes during the year, but it still feels like a big question mark since we don’t know what we’ll end up owing. This year, I am looking forward to paying each quarter and feeling more confident of our tax liability.
Save the Change
Many banks round up and put extra change into your savings account—such a great idea! I’d love to implement this idea into my daily life. If I am buying coffee, groceries, or any other everyday item, I am going to round up to the next dollar and put that amount of change into our savings account.
Be Smart About Savings
This past year we opened a high-yield savings account and are seeing a big difference in the amount of interest we’re receiving vs. the old savings account we had at another large financial institution. For a long while, we were receiving dismal interest on our savings accounts. So we did some shopping and opened an account that offered a much higher interest rate. Just this year, we were able to earn several hundred dollars of interest in our new savings account.
There are many free savings accounts out there that offer competitive interest rates. We found it pretty easy to transfer funds between banks, which was important to us in case we need quick access to our savings. This coming year, I am hoping that we can squirrel away more money into this account to see if we can generate even higher interest payments.
Be Intentional and Prioritize the Future
In a world of consumption, I can easily be swayed by a new sweater or a weekend getaway. Of course these indulgences are important from time to time, but be intentional about them. Do you need that sweater? Do you have one just like it? Or would you rather have that money in a savings account to put towards a future goal?
When we think about our future goals, we know that we will likely eventually need to move to a bigger space as our family grows. We will also buy a new car at some point, and we would like to be putting aside more money for our son’s education and our retirement. As I go about my day, I try to keep these long-term goals in mind. It’s amazing how being intentional about your priorities can remind you of what really matters, and how you can make your money stretch further and make those lofty dreams a reality. This is my #1 New Year’s resolution.
What personal finance resolutions are you setting for 2018? Is financial wellness a priority for you?
Photo Cred: Elizabeth LaDuca Photography
Natalie is an editor of the popular lifestyle blog The Boston Day Book which she writes with her sister, Laura Chassaigne. They cover topics such as motherhood, travel, art, local events, and city life with kids. She also writes a family travel blog called Wishful Nals. You can follow along with Natalie on Instagram at @bostondaybook and @wishfulnals.
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While Society of Grownups hopes the information is useful, it’s only intended to provide general education. It’s not legal, tax, or investment advice, and may not apply or be useful to your specific financial situation. If you need recommendations geared to your personal financial situation, schedule time with a financial planner professional.