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Financial New Years Resolutions You Can Keep In 2024

You know, we normally focus on the usual goals when it comes to New Year’s resolutions: getting to the gym, eating better, or maybe even picking up that old hobby we’ve been wishing to get around to. 

What if we took it a step further and made controlling our financial future our top priority for 2024? 

You can secure your financial future by laying a strong foundation. It’s not just about the present; it’s about building a better tomorrow for yourself.

In this post, we will be sharing 4 financial New Year's resolutions you can implement into your life in 2024.

It’s important to recognize the major impact your financial health has on your general well-being. 

You have more options and stress less when you manage your finances. Reaching your goals becomes a lot easier when you aren’t constantly worried about money. 

 

How to Set Your Financial Resolutions for 2024

Adopt the SMART objectives approach to make sure your financial New Year’s resolution is really effective. 

Establish objectives that are time-bound, relevant, specific, measurable, and achievable.

Rather than creating general goals like “spend less and save more,”  focus on something more targeted, like budgeting ahead of time and preparing meals on Sundays for the next week. 

Use this approach for your financial resolutions: instead of setting broad goals, divide them into attainable steps.

  • These four viable goals will help you reach your financial goals in 2024 and beyond.
How to set smart goals for financial success

How To Adopt Good Financial Habits

Financial Resolution 1: Start saving something every month

When it comes to saving money, consistency is essential. The first step in creating purposeful savings is to establish a big goal that you want to work towards. It can be difficult to stay on course when there is no accountability.

The answer? Automate those finances.

Here are two great strategies to save more in 2024:

1. Consider the 52-week Challenge: Make a small initial deposit of $1 in the first week, $2 in the second, and so forth. You will be saving $52 by week 52, for a total of $1,378 in savings.

2. Pay Yourself First: Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings account, and decide on a fixed amount.

The temptation to spend money is minimized when that money disappears from your checking account.

3. Open a High-Yield Savings Account: A high-yield savings account (HYSA) can help you reach your money goals faster with little to no effort. I mean it doesnt get better than that, right?

Compared to traditional savings accounts, HYSA offers higher interest rates, so you can invest more money and watch it grow. It’s an easy way to increase returns on your savings without having to actively manage them.

Check out some of the best HYSA for 2024

Financial Resolution 2: Commit to “no-spend” days

Throughout the year, setting aside a few weeks for a “no-spend” challenge is an excellent way to boost your savings. 

Eliminate spending on non-essentials during these weeks: no takeout, no Amazon splurges, and coffee made at home instead of coffee shop purchases. 

Taking up no-spend weeks allows you to separate between regular and necessary spending.

Transfer what you would have spent to your savings account to boost your balance. 

Financial Resolution 3: Set up Monthly/Weekly Money Dates with Yourself 

Setting aside an hour or two a week to review your finances is another beneficial habit. 

Sunday evenings are best because you can check your spending, pay any outstanding bills, and make any necessary adjustments to your budget.

It’s essential to go over everything by hand to make sure no errors are missed, even when using a budgeting tool. This step may be attempting to skip but it is essential for staying on top of your financial goals. 

When you’re conducting your “money date”,  ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your savings goals seem to be getting closer to reality?
  • Bills being paid on time ?
  • Have you anticipated any unforeseen expenses related to money?
  • In any case, don’t give up. Recognize the progress you’ve made in handling your money and increasing your wealth, make adjustments, and try again.

Financial Resolution 4: Get rid of High-Interest Debt 

Managing several debts with different interest rates can be overwhelming and bad for your financial well-being.

Consolidating your debt with a low-interest loan or credit line is an effective choice if your financial resolution is to take back control of your money.

Consolidating your debt into a single location allows you to have a single interest rate, minimum payment, and repayment term. 

Credit consolidation can not only make managing your payments easier, but it can also speed up the process of getting out of debt, and even improve your credit score. 

In case none of this applies to you, keep in mind that setting up an emergency fund adequate to pay for three to six months’ worth of living expenses is an excellent method to prevent taking on unnecessary debt.

Check out my post on Expert Tips to Become Debt-Free 

In this post, we covered 4 financial New Year resolutions that you can stick to in 2024.

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Financial New Years Resolutions You Can Keep In 2024

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Crafting financial resolutions

You know, we normally focus on the usual goals when it comes to New Year’s resolutions: getting to the gym, eating better, or maybe even picking up that old hobby we’ve been wishing to get around to. 

What if we took it a step further and made controlling our financial future our top priority for 2024? 

You can secure your financial future by laying a strong foundation. It’s not just about the present; it’s about building a better tomorrow for yourself.

In this post, we will be sharing 4 financial New Year's resolutions you can implement into your life in 2024.

It’s important to recognize the major impact your financial health has on your general well-being. 

You have more options and stress less when you manage your finances. Reaching your goals becomes a lot easier when you aren’t constantly worried about money. 

 

How to Set Your Financial Resolutions for 2024

Adopt the SMART objectives approach to make sure your financial New Year’s resolution is really effective. 

Establish objectives that are time-bound, relevant, specific, measurable, and achievable.

Rather than creating general goals like “spend less and save more,”  focus on something more targeted, like budgeting ahead of time and preparing meals on Sundays for the next week. 

Use this approach for your financial resolutions: instead of setting broad goals, divide them into attainable steps.

  • These four viable goals will help you reach your financial goals in 2024 and beyond.
How to set smart goals for financial success

How To Adopt Good Financial Habits

Financial Resolution 1: Start saving something every month

When it comes to saving money, consistency is essential. The first step in creating purposeful savings is to establish a big goal that you want to work towards. It can be difficult to stay on course when there is no accountability.

The answer? Automate those finances.

Here are two great strategies to save more in 2024:

1. Consider the 52-week Challenge: Make a small initial deposit of $1 in the first week, $2 in the second, and so forth. You will be saving $52 by week 52, for a total of $1,378 in savings.

2. Pay Yourself First: Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings account, and decide on a fixed amount.

The temptation to spend money is minimized when that money disappears from your checking account.

3. Open a High-Yield Savings Account: A high-yield savings account (HYSA) can help you reach your money goals faster with little to no effort. I mean it doesnt get better than that, right?

Compared to traditional savings accounts, HYSA offers higher interest rates, so you can invest more money and watch it grow. It’s an easy way to increase returns on your savings without having to actively manage them.

Check out some of the best HYSA for 2024

Financial Resolution 2: Commit to “no-spend” days

Throughout the year, setting aside a few weeks for a “no-spend” challenge is an excellent way to boost your savings. 

Eliminate spending on non-essentials during these weeks: no takeout, no Amazon splurges, and coffee made at home instead of coffee shop purchases. 

Taking up no-spend weeks allows you to separate between regular and necessary spending.

Transfer what you would have spent to your savings account to boost your balance. 

Financial Resolution 3: Set up Monthly/Weekly Money Dates with Yourself 

Setting aside an hour or two a week to review your finances is another beneficial habit. 

Sunday evenings are best because you can check your spending, pay any outstanding bills, and make any necessary adjustments to your budget.

It’s essential to go over everything by hand to make sure no errors are missed, even when using a budgeting tool. This step may be attempting to skip but it is essential for staying on top of your financial goals. 

When you’re conducting your “money date”,  ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your savings goals seem to be getting closer to reality?
  • Bills being paid on time ?
  • Have you anticipated any unforeseen expenses related to money?
  • In any case, don’t give up. Recognize the progress you’ve made in handling your money and increasing your wealth, make adjustments, and try again.

Financial Resolution 4: Get rid of High-Interest Debt 

Managing several debts with different interest rates can be overwhelming and bad for your financial well-being.

Consolidating your debt with a low-interest loan or credit line is an effective choice if your financial resolution is to take back control of your money.

Consolidating your debt into a single location allows you to have a single interest rate, minimum payment, and repayment term. 

Credit consolidation can not only make managing your payments easier, but it can also speed up the process of getting out of debt, and even improve your credit score. 

In case none of this applies to you, keep in mind that setting up an emergency fund adequate to pay for three to six months’ worth of living expenses is an excellent method to prevent taking on unnecessary debt.

Check out my post on Expert Tips to Become Debt-Free 

In this post, we covered 4 financial New Year resolutions that you can stick to in 2024.

Filing Taxes for the First Time? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Are you in a bind because you’ve never filed a tax return before? And to top it off, you just learned that you’ll need to file one this year? April 15th:

This site contains affiliate links, view the disclosure for more information.

filing your taxes
Are you in a bind because you’ve never filed a tax return before? And to top it off, you just learned that you’ll need to file one this year?
 
April 15th: Tax Day always falls on that date, unless April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday. 
 
If you are filing your taxes for the first time, we have everything you need to know. And yes, we will be sharing how to file your taxes for free (or at a super low cost).

In this post, we are sharing everything you need to know if you are filing taxes for the first time.

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FILING TAXES

Essential tips for all you first-time filers out there ⬇️

Figure Out If You Have to File a Tax Return

To determine if you need to file a tax return, there are a few key factors to consider. 
 
In general, if your gross income in 2023 was at least $13,850, you’ll likely need to file a tax return in 2024.
 
Keep in mind that different rules apply to married individuals, older Americans, and heads of household. 
 
It’s important to note that even if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, the $13,850 threshold still applies to you. 
 
If you are considered a dependent, you must file a return if you have accumulated at least $1,250 in “unearned” income, such as interest from investments.

Get Your Documents Together Early

 
Once you’ve determined that you need to file a tax return, it’s time to gather the necessary documents to complete it.
 
Here’s a list of essential documents to gather:
 
W-2: If you have a job, your employer is required to send you this form by the end of January. It provides details on your earnings for the previous year and the amount of tax withheld.
 
1099s: These forms report income that doesn’t come directly from a traditional employer. They include earnings from freelance work, “gig” pay, interest and dividend income, as well as income from third-party platforms like Venmo and PayPal.
 
Receipts: As a first-time taxpayer, it’s important to start keeping records of transactions that may need to be reported on your tax form. This includes income, expenses, and potential deductions. For example, keep track of any charitable donations you make or significant medical bills you incur.
 
By gathering these essential documents, you’ll be well-prepared to complete your tax return accurately and efficiently.

Gather Important Personal information

You’ll need the following personal information on hand to file taxes:
 
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • (TIN) for yourself and any dependents
  • Full name and date of birth for all individuals on your return.
  • Proof of identity with a valid photo ID
  • Bank account information, including your routing and account numbers, if you want to receive your tax refund via direct deposit.

Figure Out If Someone Can Claim You as a Dependent

 
It’s important to determine whether someone can claim you as a dependent, especially if you’re living with your parents or receiving any financial support from them.
 
According to TurboTax, parents can claim you as a dependent if you’re under 19 years of age, or under 24 and a full-time student, and they provide more than half of your financial support.
 
While parents can receive tax benefits by claiming you as a dependent, it’s also crucial for you to report this dependent status on your own tax return. 
 
Be sure to check with your parents and discuss whether they plan to claim you as a dependent and how it may affect your taxes. Always stay informed to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps towards financial success.

Figure Out If Someone Can Claim You as a Dependent

 
It’s important to determine whether someone can claim you as a dependent, especially if you’re living with your parents or receiving any financial support from them.
 
According to TurboTax, parents can claim you as a dependent if you’re under 19 years of age, or under 24 and a full-time student, and they provide more than half of your financial support.
 
While parents can receive tax benefits by claiming you as a dependent, it’s also crucial for you to report this dependent status on your own tax return. 
 
Be sure to check with your parents and discuss whether they plan to claim you as a dependent and how it may affect your taxes. Always stay informed to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps towards financial success.

Determine Your Tax Filing Status:

Here are the five primary filing statuses: 
 
  • Single: If you’re unmarried.  
  • Married (filing jointly): For married couples who want to combine their income on one return.
  • Married (filing separately): For married couples filing separately.
  • Head of household: For unmarried individuals who support dependents.
  • Qualifying widow/widower with dependent child: If you’re a surviving spouse with a dependent child. 
 
Include the appropriate filing status on your forms, when filing your taxes for the first time.

Find Out If You Qualify for Deductions or Credits

 
When it comes to taxes, deductions and credits can both help decrease your overall tax liability. Tax deductions work by reducing the amount of your income that is taxable while tax credits decrease the amount of tax you owe.
 
For first-time taxpayers, there are a few common deductions and credits that may apply:
 
  • The student loan interest deduction is one example of a deduction and can possibly result in a maximum deduction of $2,500 for the interest paid on student loans.
 
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a credit that can be claimed by those individuals for whom no one can claim as a dependent, allowing for up to $2,500 credit for college expenses.
 
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit may be an option for individuals who earned a low income in 2023. It is essential to consult the IRS tables for information on how to qualify for this credit based on your income level.
 
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: A credit that helps cover the costs of post-secondary education, including tuition and related expenses, for eligible students. 
 
  • Educational expenses deduction: This deduction covers certain educational expenses. 
 
  • Home Energy Tax Credits: A credit for homeowners who make qualifying energy-efficient home upgrades.
 
  • Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit: A credit for homeowners investing in energy-efficient home improvements. 
Deductions and credits can be a valuable tool when it comes to claiming your taxes.
 
Getting your taxable amount to the lowest possible is important if you want to pay less in taxes. It’s crucial to research which ones may apply to your situation and take advantage of them while preparing your tax return.

Decide if You Need Help

If you’re a first-time taxpayer, you have the option of either doing your own taxes or hiring a professional. 
 
Many Gen-Z individuals choose to do their own taxes, which is generally fine if your tax situation is straightforward.
 
By taking the DIY approach, you can potentially save money and complete your tax return quickly using tax software or the official IRS Free File program.
 
 Calculate your estimated Tax Return using Turbo Tax.

Completing Your Tax Filing

 
Once you’re prepared to file your taxes, it’s important to ensure the accuracy of your tax return. Take the time to review your personal information, income, deductions, and credits for any errors or omissions.
 
Online Filing: If you choose to file online, the platform you use will typically guide you through the process. Before proceeding from one page to the next, carefully verify the information provided for an easier filing experience.
 
 
Tax Professional Assistance: When working with a tax professional, they are responsible for reviewing their work. However, it’s crucial to provide them with accurate information from the start. If needed, ask for a walkthrough of your return to gain additional peace of mind.
 
Nonprofit Organization Assistance: If you’re seeking help from a nonprofit organization, you might be required to attend in-person sessions and bring all necessary documents. The organization will then assist you in submitting your tax return.
 
Paper Filing: If you opt for paper filing, complete all mandatory forms accurately, attach supporting documents, and send the package to the appropriate IRS address. Take the time to double-check everything before mailing your return, and remember to include a signed and dated copy.
 
It’s crucial to file your return by the tax deadline to avoid any late penalties. For the 2024 tax year, the deadline is April 15, 2024.

Pay the IRS if you owe taxes

After filing your taxes, you’ll either receive a tax refund or a notice of the amount you owe to the IRS. If you end up owing money, you’ll need to know how to pay what you owe.
 
You have a few options:
 
  • Use IRS Direct PayThis online service lets you pay your tax bill directly from your bank account. It’s a secure and convenient way to pay the IRS without any fees. 
  • Pay with a credit or debit card: You can pay your taxes using a credit or debit card through authorized payment processors, but this method includes fees. 
  • Pay in installments: If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, you may be eligible for an installment payment plan with the IRS. This allows you to pay your tax debt over time in manageable installments. 
Whichever method you choose, pay what you owe on time to avoid any penalties.

Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid For First-Time Filers

  • Misreporting any earned income
  • Not claiming qualified deductions or credits
  • Forgetting to sign and date your Tax return
  • Missing the date to file
  • Not keeping organized and accurate records.
  • Inaccurate Filing Status

This post was all about, everything you need to know before filing your taxes for the first time.

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