11 Smart Financial New Years Resolutions For Budget-Conscious Families (2023)

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The new year is approaching and that means it is time for resolutions. While many people resolve to lose weight, or exercise more you don’t hear as much about finances. Why? Because people either ignore it or feel like they have no control.

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I am here to tell you, if you’re looking to save more money in 2023 and or get out of debt, you can do it! I understand how detrimental even the smallest change to finances can be for budget-conscious families. Many of us have slim or no wiggle room when it comes to our monthly income so it feels impossible to move forward, but I promise you, you can!

There are many ways to save money this New Year, if you’re looking for some help with your financial resolutions take a look at these 11 tips. They will help guide you on how you can make smart financial resolutions that won’t put too much pressure on your family finances giving you a little more peace of mind!

Why You Should Set A Financial Resolution for 2023

If you haven’t had the best year financially, you may feel downtrodden, but with the turn of the New Year comes renewed hope for changes! If you have had trouble the past year with finances, then you should set out to make some resolutions that will help to benefit your situation. 

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You and your family may already be great budgeters, or you could be completely new to the world and want to try to get your maximum savings out of everything this year. Whether you want to increase savings, create a new budget, or pay down your debts, you can pick a resolution to help you stay on track for whatever financial goal you need!

How To Pick A Financial New Year’s Resolution & Stick to It!

The start to picking a financial New Year’s Resolution is recognizing where you and your family may be struggling or have had issues over the past year. Whether it’s a lack of successful budgeting, excessive spending, or a general lack of savings, you can tailor your resolution to your family’s needs. 

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If you want to cut out unnecessary expenses, you can create a tracker and eliminate or limit those you deem unneeded.  Above all, if you want to help your financial situation, the first step is identifying a problem, and then you can begin to use your resolution as a solution.

11 Smart New Year’s Resolutions For Budget-Conscious Families

Create A Budget For 2023 

You and your family may have tried and failed at budgeting, or maybe you haven’t tried to implement one yet; regardless, this is an excellent budget-conscious resolution. You can create budgets for anything in your life that you may have trouble controlling your spending on. 

The most common things to create a budget for are food expenses and general spending, including all of your utilities, bills, etc. Creating a budget could put your spending on track and allow you to make adjustments that can result in tremendous savings.

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Knowing how much you are spending and how much you can cut back on spending creates a way for you to bolster your savings. There are multiple different ways to budget and even more online budget calculators you can utilize to help you. This one from NerdWallet helps to implement a 50/30/20 type of budgeting that splits your income into three categories. 

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    The three categories are used to separate your income into: 50% used for needs, 30% used for wants, and 20% used for savings and debt repayment. This is a great way to begin a budget for those who are unfamiliar or those who just want an easy way to divide up their income!  

    Read: How to Make a Budget for Beginners

    Manage Your Debt: Pay Down Credit Card Debt

    With the New Year comes new changes, and most people would like to go into the New Year debt-free. While this is the goal, you may need a little help getting there. If your debts seem out of control or you don’t know where to start, you can make that a part of your resolution.

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    Make the goal to pay down your credit card debt, and you can begin by looking into debt consolidation if you feel overwhelmed, or by planning out a budget that allows you to increase your payments. You can plan out how much you need to save in order to pay off your debt, or make a significant dent in it, by the end of this new year.

    Read: How to Pay Off Debt Fast

    Set Out To Improve Your Credit Score

    Another way to improve your financial situation this new year is to improve your credit score. This may seem impossible if you are in significant debt, but sometimes it does not take much to up your score! You should dig into your credit account and see what is hurting you and how you can begin to change it for the better. 

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    You want to pay attention to how many accounts you have, how new they are, and any past due accounts you may need to pay on. This article has helpful tips and helps to cover the impact of these changes on your score. Some of these tips can be simple, from just righting discrepancies that may have been resolved but not removed from the account, or they could be more difficult such as paying down significant amounts on debts. 

    Whatever issues may be present on your credit score, rest assured there are ways to improve even the most damaged reports.

    Save A Dedicated Amount Of Money For the year

    An easy budget-conscious resolution is to save a specified amount of money for the year. This may just seem like a way to create a savings, and in a way, it is, but this offers gratification in the fact that once you reach the specified goal, you feel as though you accomplished something in the new year.

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    Don’t make the amount too high that it is unachievable but also not low enough that it is attainable in a month or two. You want to set the amount at a level where you can feel good about yourself and have a significant amount in the savings to bring in the next new year. This may seem too simplistic of a goal, but it is essential to remember that financially conscious goals don’t have to be instantly life-changing. Even if you are just putting aside a small sum of money after every paycheck, you are still contributing towards a more financially stable habit and increasing your savings at the same time. 

    So, don’t stress if your only goal is to save a certain amount of money for the year, because that is still a great thing for your financial needs!

    Read: 50 Ideas for Living Frugally

    Start an emergency fund or add to it

    As we all know, accidents and emergencies happen, and we need to be prepared for them. If you do not have an emergency fund, or yours is looking pretty sparse, then you should absolutely implement that into your financial resolution for the New Year. 

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    An emergency fund is essential for everyone, but especially those families with children.Children, can often get sick and you need enough of a cushion to pay for medical bills or afford yourself enough time to take off work if you cannot go in. Emergency funds can be used for anything from vehicle issues, medical occurrences, coverage for out-of-pocket payments, or even covered in the event you or your partner get laid off. 

    No matter the circumstance, you want to make sure you are prepared for the coming year, and anything it has to throw at you.

    Read: How to Save $1000 Fast

    Cook Meals At Home & Save The Money You Would Spend Eating Out!

    The average family spends around 260 dollars a month eating food away from home, either in restaurants or with fast food stops. This equates to around 3,000 dollars a year, so if you make your resolution to cook meals at home all year, that’s a saving in the thousands or even higher depending on your family’s usual eating habits. 

    Cooking meals at home may seem like a daunting task, but you can lessen the stress by prepping meals in advance and even utilizing leftovers on those days when you are feeling lazy. By the end of the year, you can compare last year’s food expenses with what you saved with your resolution. This will likely give you more motivation to stick with a food expense budget and continue those savings.

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      Kick Your retirement savings Up A Notch For 2023

      Retirement savings may not be at the forefront of most of our minds when we think about savings, but it is an essential component in your life that you should be actively contributing to. The more you contribute to your retirement savings now, the less you have to save later, and you may even be able to retire early. 

      While significant contributions to your retirement plan may not be possible, you can make it your new year’s resolution to beef up your plan for the year, giving it a needed boost. Be sure to look over your retirement account information and options carefully, and make sure you are matching your company’s pay contribution. 

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      You may even consider an IRA plan to increase your retirement funds further, and there are even options to increase savings if you are fifty years old or older, to help speed up your retirement options. There are many easy ways to add to your retirement accounts, the first being to automate an amount of your savings to be deposited into your account. 

      This makes it easy to set the amount you are comfortable with, and can afford, to be sent directly to the retirement account. This takes the constant watchfulness out of your savings and boosts your retirement account without the need to approve the monthly deposits. You can even set a goal of how much you wish to grow your retirement savings in your resolution to really feel like you are heading towards a goal that is achievable. This article from Fidelity, gives you timelines, tips, and tricks to achieve maximum benefits from your retirement savings.

      Start A Side Hustle For Extra Cash

      If your schedule isn’t too packed or you find yourself having too much time on your hands as your children become more self-sufficient, then you can make your resolution to start a side hustle for extra income. Whether you are younger or older, there are so many different options for side jobs that you can fit into your schedule. 

      You can begin blogging and working with ad services and eventually get brand deals, you can freelance services that you can offer, or you could even sell a product. If you have a hobby that you are passionate about, then the odds are you can turn that into a side hustle! 

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      Are you great at knitting or even cooking? You could sell recipes or products online. You could even host classes online or in person, that many people will pay for to learn from you. You could even sell some of your old clothes, kid’s toys, books, furniture, or even appliances that you no longer need. In today’s time, there are many options for side hustles that can be built around any schedule at any time, such as driving for Uber, Lyft, or food delivering for PostMates or DoorDash! 

      There are many focus groups you can even do online to discuss products and marketing. You can find even more options for side jobs on this page. No matter what you are good at or what you have time for, you can find a side hustle that works around your schedule and can add some serious extra cash to your accounts this year!

      Read: Side Hustle Ideas to Pay Off Debt Fast

      Save For Something Big You’ve Been Wanting To Purchase

      If you don’t need to overhaul your budgeting plan, but want to increase your savings for other reasons, such as a big purchase you have been eyeing, then you can make that your resolution! You could be wanting to save for a trip, some sort of vacation, a new vehicle, or even just an item of clothing or accessory you have been wanting for a while. 

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      No matter what the end goal is, you can tailor your personal savings resolution to help you meet that goal! This may seem to go against the financially frugal resolution goal, but it really doesn’t. Everyone needs something to look forward to and the big item you are wanting to purchase may even be something you and your family need, such as a new household appliance or vehicle. 

      Though, even if the purchase that you are making your resolution around is simply something you have been wanting, that’s okay too! We all need things to look forward to,, and saving toward your goal still promotes healthy financial habits that you can use to save towards other things as well.

      Read: Simple Ways to Save Money Fast

      Track Expenses and Get Rid of Unnecessary Spending

      If you are not currently budgeting or you want to rearrange your budget, then you can make your New Year’s resolution to track some of your expenses and cut out things that are unnecessary. This could be those daily or weekly iced coffees from expensive coffee shops, buying lunches from fast food restaurants on your lunch breaks, or even things such as cigarettes or alcohol. 

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      These all seem small but they are just examples of some unnecessary spending that can rack up quite the bill over a year. While drinking and spending money on alcohol may be synonymous with younger individuals, many people may not realize the lurking costs for some of their daily or weekly vices. 

      For example, if you’re buying a 10-dollar lunch every day while you’re at work then by the end of the month you will spend an average of around 200 dollars a month eating out during your lunch breaks when you could bring leftovers or cook for your lunch the night before. There are many ways to track your expenses and you don’t have to eliminate all of them but for this New Year’s resolution, it is good to pick one that seems to be burning a rather large hole in your pockets, and see how much you save at the end of the year!

      Read: Are you Budgeting or Monitoring your money?

      Try Eco-Friendly or Budget Saving Sustainability Switches

      Trying eco-friendly or sustainable switches may seem like it will cost you more because products are sometimes more expensive but, some of these switches actually save you money in the long run and are much better for the environment! So, put your best foot forward and try to make some financially beneficial and eco-friendly switches your New Year’s resolution goal. 

      One easy switch is to cut out plastic water bottles and use a reusable one! While you may not find tap water appealing, you can invest in reusable water bottles with filters or filter pitchers which you can use to refill those! This will save you the money you spend weekly or monthly on buying plastic water bottles, while significantly impacting the amount of plastic your family uses. 

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      Just like mentioned in the previous resolution about cutting out coffees from expensive coffee shops, you can save money and reduce plastic waste by making coffees at home! You can make hot, iced, sweet, and regular classic black coffee in the comfort of your own home. I’m sure you have travel mugs and coffee cups around your home, and you can use these to take your coffee to work and wherever else while pocketing the usual 4 dollars you’d spend at the coffee shop. 

      There are other money-saving options such as energy-efficient power cords to cut down your electric bill or water-sustainable shower heads to reduce your water bill. Some of these may have a cost upfront but if you track the changes to your bills and expenses over the year you are sure to see some serious savings from these sustainable switches. Read about more ways to make eco-conscious switches to save money here.

      What Financial Resolution Will You Be Making This New Year?

      So, with all these options for smart financial New Year’s resolutions, there are options for everyone no matter what lifestyle, or financial situation they are in! Hopefully, reading this article gave you a head start on some ideas for resolutions to help make smart budget-conscious decisions this upcoming year. If you want to build towards a savings goal, boost your credit score, increase your retirement plan, or even make some switches to save you money over the course of the year, then this article will give you the ideas and tools you need to make this resolution one to stick to!  

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      hi! I'm shannon

      I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.