Ten Good Financial Habits to Pick Up in 2023
Dec 31, 2018
Are you living your best financial life? If you’re like 49% of Americans, you might be feeling concerned, anxious, or fearful about your current financial well-being. This is a difficult way to live, so how about pledging to make a few small changes in 2023 to feel better about your financial health?
If you're wanting to improve your financial health today, here are ten good habits to help get you started on the right foot.
1. Check your credit score
Did you know you get one free credit report each year? Take advantage of this and check your credit report once a year to make sure everything is correct. Simply go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228. Accessing your credit report regularly can help you catch identity theft early, prevent mistakes that could hurt your score, and help you avoid unwanted surprises when you apply for credit in the future.
2. Create a budget
Are you tracking your spending? If you don’t have a budget, you probably don’t know where all of your money is going. This is one habit you definitely need to adopt you if want to get control of your finances! A budget can serve as a roadmap to help you reach your financial goals and help provide you and your family with a better quality of life. If you're wondering where to start, we recommend taking a look at all your current expenses and categorizing them into similar types of expenses. Then figure out if there are any areas where you can cut back or save more. One rule of thumb that might sound overly simple is to make sure that your budgeted expenses aren't more than your budgeted income as this can lead to going into debt.
3. Sign up for auto pay
This may not work for everyone, but if you can manage to keep enough money in your checking or savings account, consider enrolling in auto pay. You can usually save a percentage on your bills by doing this very small thing. This will make sure that you are never late on a payment and will help you avoid costly late fees. Just make sure that you have enough money in your account to cover the payments so you can avoid overdraft fees as well.
4. Pay more than the minimum
If you haven’t paid off your credit cards yet, it’s time to start paying more than the minimum amount due. Even just a little bit extra can mean you pay off your card YEARS sooner than if you paid just the minimum. The impact that this can have on your financial life is huge and can be a huge catalyst to help you get out of debt for good.
5. Create an Emergency Fund
You’ve heard it a million times, but that’s because it’s important! Everyone should have an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. Why? Because life happens and you never know when you might need it. Not having an emergency fund can lead to using credit cards or loans to cover unexpected costs, which can get you into debt quickly.
6. Reduce Your Debt
While a lot of people may view making more money as the way to ensure financial freedom, the truth is that reducing your debt has a much bigger impact. Reducing your debt can help you save money, reduce stress, and improve your credit score. If you’re not sure where to start, consider using the debt snowball method to pay off your debts from smallest to largest.
7. Lower Overall Expenses
Finding a way to reduce your overall expenses is one of the smartest things you can do for your finances. This could be done simply by cooking at home more often or getting a cheaper cell phone plan. If you’re really looking to reduce your living expenses, you could even consider moving to a less expensive area or downsizing your home.
8. Invest Money
If you are wanting to achieve your financial goals, you need to start investing your money. This could be done through a 401k, IRA, or simply investing in stocks and mutual funds. Investing your money is one of the smartest things you can do for your future and can help you reach your financial goals much quicker. Investing could be as simple as buying stocks of publically traded companies or even investing in a local business venture.
9. Make Long-Term Plans
When it comes to being wise financially, it's important that you view everything through a long-term lens. This means making decisions today that will benefit you down the road. For example, if you're 25 years old and have the opportunity to invest in a 401k with your company, you should do it! Even though it may seem like a small amount now and makes your take-home-paycheck smaller, in 40 years when you retire, you'll be thankful you did it.
10. Make smart purchases
Most of us think in order to save money, we need to look for deals. This isn’t always true! In 2023, make an effort to shop with quality in mind. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little more for something that will last, rather than just looking for the lowest-priced option. Investing your time to do research to find the best quality product for you will save you money and hassle in the long term.
How Acima Can Help Your Financial Health
If you're looking for a way to get your finances in order, look no further than Acima. Our flexible lease-to-own solutions can help you take home furniture, electronics, appliances, tires, and more - all without using your credit. With thousands of choices available, Acima makes it easy to get the things you need from the stores you know. Plus, our flexible terms put you in control. If you’re planning on making a larger purchase in 2023, consider taking advantage of the " No credit option" from Acima. Learn more or find a participating store near you.