How to budget for success in 2022


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By Bob Juliano, Vice President and Director of Corporate Giving and Financial Literacy at WSFS Bank

The change in schedule brings a fresh start while providing an opportunity to assess your finances and build your plan for the future.

A recent study by the WSFS Bank Money Trends found that 54% of consumers in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware area are concerned about their personal finances, reflecting the increased importance of budgeting during times of uncertainty.

Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or you’re on your way to achieving your goals, these tips can help you take stock of your finances and budget for success.

Assess current finances

When developing your roadmap for the coming year, it’s important to take a close look at your expenses and income. Whichever fiscal strategy you choose, you’ll want to make sure you have a balanced budget and close any shortfalls quickly.

If you haven’t set up online or mobile banking yet, now is a great time to start, as it can help you quickly get a complete overview of your accounts and look for cost savings. And with reports of an increase in fraud attempts, mobile banking can help you keep tabs on your accounts more consistently. Make sure to alert your bank to any suspicious activity.

Consider making a New Year’s resolution to be more proactive with your finances, which could help you find money that you are currently leaving on the table that could be used to save. For example, consider refinancing your mortgage if you haven’t already, since interest rates are still very low, or consolidating your credit card debt to pay off your balances faster and spend less. money to pay interest.

The end of the year is also a time when many employees find out if they’ll get a raise, so it’s important to factor in any upcoming salary changes and consider paying extra compensation to your retirement savings. to take advantage of compound interest. .

Account for changes in the financial environment

The world and its financial climate have changed dramatically over the past year and a half, forcing many consumers to regularly reassess their finances.

The WSFS study found that 41% of regional respondents are spending more than they were earlier in the pandemic, but rising prices are preventing nearly a quarter (24%) of them from shopping important or other products that they would normally buy.

With prices having risen a lot in recent months, it’s also important to take a close look at where you shop and look for the right deals. While shopping at multiple stores might be less convenient, it can help you find savings, which can then be redirected to things like saving for your child’s education or building emergency savings.

Set goals and plan for the future

Once you have a clear idea of ​​your current finances, setting short and long term goals for yourself is essential.

For example, if you have a wedding on the horizon next year, figure out the estimated cost and start building your roadmap for how you’ll save so much money within the allotted time frame. Calculating the monthly savings needed to meet this goal can help you identify additional areas where you can make cuts to make sure your budget stays balanced.

If you’re further along on your financial journey and don’t need to save for something short-term, consider your long-term future, like retirement. Be sure to maximize all employer considerations for your retirement plans so you don’t leave “free money” on the table and increase contributions when your pay is increased.

If you’ve already reached your employer-sponsored plan contribution limits, consider opening an IRA or money market for additional long-term savings.

Everyone’s financial situation is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieving your goals. The most important thing is to regularly assess your budget and recalibrate it throughout the year.

If you’re not ready to set bigger goals, start small by saving for a meal at a good restaurant or a local weekend getaway to boost your confidence in achieving your business goals. saving. If you need more help building your roadmap, consider making an appointment with your banker for a financial report.

Bob Juliano is Vice President, Director of Corporate Giving and Financial Literacy at WSFS Bank. He is a financial education expert for the Bank and has taught K-12 financial literacy to thousands of children.

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