By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

While 2023 may pose economic challenges, there are several things that you can do here and now that can impact your financial situation positively long term. You may not be able to do all of these as a checklist but use them to gauge where you are financially and where there’s room for improvement.

  1. Control Your (Over)Spending

As we all know, much stress and feelings can be attached to spending and overspending money. Whether trying to keep up with friends or let those compelling insta ads influence you, you need to address how and why you overspend. Creating a big-picture budget (maybe with the help of a budgeting app) helps you identify how you spend money.

  1. Ditch the Fancy Subscriptions

An annual audit of what you subscribe to is an easy way to cut out monthly costs. Do you need a fancy gym membership, or can you do a cheaper one? Do you need all the streaming services, or will fewer do? What about the online greeting card or meal prep subscription? Canceling just a few will instantly give you more money in your pocket.

  1. Save Up for Big Purchases

You may want to take out a loan if you buy a house or even a car, but if you’re going to replace your fridge or your TV or get new furniture, paying cash is the way to go. Building debt to purchase these things will take years to pay out, and it will feel much better seeing your savings accumulating interest instead.

  1. Save Up for Emergencies

Unexpected expenses or life changes will occur, so have money set aside to deal with emergencies like your car needing repairs or being out of work for a couple of months.

  1. Get Your Retirement on Track

Whether you have a 401K or a personal IRA, it’s essential to start considering retirement at any age. Even small contributions to a retirement or investment account over time can help you generate more funds.

  1. Pay Your Bills on Time!

Paying your bills on time is the easiest way to manage your money in the smartest way: you avoid paying late fees and put the greatest importance on your essential expenses. An added bonus is that it will also positively impact your credit score and improve your interest rate.

  1. Get Better Talking About Money

Money can be a touchy issue, especially in a relationship between two people and different spending habits. Setting the same financial goals and considering joining accounts, if you haven’t already, is a great way to get clarity and agreement on money matters. Either way, start talking about money so it doesn’t become a hot-button issue.