This story originally appeared on Black enterprise
2023 is just over the horizon as we enter December and promises to be another year of instability with inflation still rising, unemployment and the country heading for recession.
If you are a budding businessroundups.org, an investor, or someone looking to build wealth, doing it right requires research, a busyness mindset, and the right information. BLACK ENTERPRISE is here to help with ten tips from top financial experts to help you in the new year.
Determine your financial goals
Everyone has different goals. Whether it’s repairing credit, saving for retirement, buying a home, or paying college tuition, knowing what you want to do in the new year is the first step.
Defining your short and long term financial goals is the first step to achieving them and also prevents you from setting your goals too high.
“One of the difficulties with set goals is “all or nothing thinking,” says Brittney Castro, certified financial planner at Minttold NBC. “It’s an extreme way of thinking, and when we do that sort of thing, we set ourselves up for failure because we don’t account for all the grays of life.”
The second step in any financial plan is budgeting. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, saving, restoring your credit or wealth accumulation, you can’t move towards financial freedom without a card and you budget it on that card.
“My top tip for tracking, organizing and keeping my finances under control is to create a monthly budget or a spending plan (for those who find the word budget really boring). The importance of creating a budget can’t be stressed enough because having a budget helps me,” Esther Mukoro, a financial coach and the founder of Money nuggets Liberty told Paperwork Solutions..
If you can’t stick to your budget, plan your expenses
If you’ve been building budget after budget and blowing through it all the time, it might be easier to create a spending plan instead.
“The concept of living by a spending plan rather than a budget can give you freedom and peace of mind,” said Loreen Gilbert, wealth manager and CEO of WealthWise Financial Services. Bank rate.
Plus, a spending plan allows you to choose what to spend your money on instead of being focused on what you can’t buy. Start with necessities, rent, food supplies, and savings. Money management apps can also help you keep track of things and make automatic payments or transfers.
Keep track of your bills and your purchases regularly
In some months people may be frugal, while in other months people may overspend when problems or events arise. Keeping track of your bills on a regular basis will help you not see where your money is going, but you will also know when your spending is getting out of hand. Plus, it can also let you know when it’s time to spend less and save more.
“Check your account balances daily and see where your money is really going. This can also help you see when your balance is getting too low and you need to curb your spending. I also recommend that people track every purchase for 30 days and also write how they felt after the purchase. Often we spend thoughtlessly and not necessarily within our values. This exercise can be eye-opening,” Melanie Lockert, writer and founder of the blog Dear debt told Liberty Solutions.
Plan monthly no-spend weekends
One of the best ways to save money is not to stay indoors. Free weekends are a great way to give your bills and cards a break. Start planning your weekends in advance. Get all the food and entertainment you need for the weekend. If you live in a major metropolitan area, find out what free events are on that weekend that will pique your interest. Another option is to stay home with some comfort food, stay out of the winter weather and stream your favorite movies and shows
“I did my first week spend-free a few months ago and saved over $200,” Emma Newberry said in a article she wrote for The Motley Fool.
MoneyGeek too Characteristics a list of 40+ things to do in a weekend to fill a no-spend weekend.
Increase your retirement savings
For those of you who are already well into your financial plan and waiting for that beautiful day called retirement, boosting your retirement savings is paramount as inflation drives many who quit it back to work.
These days, you need to make sure your retirement money holds up and that unpredictable circumstances don’t drain your savings faster than you planned. Lorna Sabbia, chief of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America, suggests taking a long-term approach to your retirement plans.
“Use [the new year] to encourage or maximize contributions to 401(k)s or HSAs, set holistic retirement goals (e.g., where will I live? Will I work? How much budget for travel?), and take meaningful steps no matter your age or life stage to enhance your financial well-being,” Lorna Sabbia, the head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at bank of America told Bankrate.
If you invest, wait for the right opportunity
US financial experts keep saying a recession is coming sometime in 2023 and while many fear it, Kara Stevens, The Frugal Feminista told Black Enterprise SVP Alfred Edmond Jr. last month that a recession also offers opportunities.
“Technically, a recession is when there is no growth or negative growth in the economy and typically you see higher unemployment, higher interest rates and less consumer spending,” Stevens told Edmond on Your Money, Your Life podcast. “The bigger context is that these are cycles.”
“For those of us who understand the cycles, now is a good time to take advantage of market sales, so if you change that mindset from scarcity to opportunity, knowing that recessions happen and after the bear market there is a big bull market, yet after that you want to get through the recession for whatever happens next.”
Sticking to your financial goals during a recession gives you access to more opportunities as the market and economy begin to recover.
Finding capital to start or help your business
It’s no secret that black entrepreneurs struggle to find capital. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 led to a revolution in black business.
So if you are a budding businessroundups.org looking for financing, there are now a myriad of places where you can apply for financing. Lendistry, the only nationwide fintech CDFI and the only African-America led small business loan businessspend $200 million to small and micro enterprises in New York. The Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF) provides microloans to small businesses in Southern California.
“We probably consider ourselves one of the largest African-American capital providers in the US,” Everette Sands said BLACK ENTERPRISE. “And after George Floyd, it was very important to me as CEO that we had a chance to sit at the table and help influence or add to our voice as different clients started creating programs like the NY State Seed Fund.”
Stay away from risky investments
The technology industry has been one of the most time-tested investments in recent years with the growth of Amazon, Apple, and Google. Cryptocurrency is also seen as a quick way to boost your accounts.
However, the technique industry is currently laying off thousands of workers across the country. At the same time, there are many who have poured money into it cryptocurrency have lost out in what is an unregulated market, including some notable ones celebrities and athletes who took money in Bitcoin.
Investing in safer areas is not foolproof, but they are areas where investment and the world are growing. Green energy is an area where investment is currently outpacing forecasts due to rising energy costs around the world. In addition, there are several green energy sectors including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal that are growing all over the world, including in the US.
“Expanding opportunities for small and underserved producers is a key goal of Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. Small and underserved producers are facing the impacts of climate change head-on, with limited resources, and have the most to gain from harnessing the growing market of agricultural products produced in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-friendly products and ensure that small and underserved producers reap the benefits of these market opportunities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. said in a USDA release.
Remember that money management is a marathon, not a sprint
Any form of money management, no matter how big or small, takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your financial goals aren’t achieved in a day either. It will take months and maybe even years to save, spend, and sacrifice.
If you feel like budgeting and limiting your spending is too hard, remember what the goal is and how far you’ve made it. Also, make it a point to celebrate small milestones along the way to your goal, it will keep you motivated to make it to the finish line.
Remember this is for your financial future and freedom so stay positive and keep your goal in mind because when you finally reach that goal you will realize it wasn’t as hard as it seemed on that first day.