Money Management

How to Make Financial Goal Setting Less Stressful for the New Year

November 17, 2023

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I'm Tori!

After successfully saving $100,000 at age 25, I quit my corporate job in marketing to fight for your financial rights. I’ve helped over three million badass women make more, spend less, and feel financially confident.


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Easy Financial Goal Setting for the 2024 New Year

We are officially in the homestretch of 2023, and it seems that we can’t scroll through our Instagram feed, browse Pinterest, or tune into our favorite podcast without hearing about New Year’s resolutions – and honestly, we get it.

There’s just something about a new year that seems to inspire new and loftier goals. From reading daily to exercising more regularly to spending more time with family – the goals that we set for a new year are often more than just a box to check on a list, and rather will last throughout the year and [hopefully] beyond. As such, it’s no surprise that this type of goal-setting for the new year often involves setting our sights on new financial goals, milestones, or accomplishments.

Here at Her First $100K™, we love that so many people use this time to gain clarity on their financial goals for the new year, but we know that being able to reach our financial goals in 2024 can be made much easier (or much more difficult) by the way that we set ourselves up for financial success at the end of 2023.

Ya know what they say: an object in motion stays in motion. The same goes for our financial goals – you’re more likely to maintain momentum on a financial goal when you’re already making progress on it.

So rather than having to jump straight into the new year with a dense list of money-related tasks to get your finances in order, we are sharing three easy ways to wrap up this year so that you are set up for financial success in the next and start checking off your money goals at 12:01 on January 1st!

The way you prepare to reach your financial goals can be just as important as working on reaching those goals themselves.

  1. Have a Money Date

If you have been part of the HFK community for a while then you have probably heard about the Money Date. This is one of our favorite money exercises as it helps you gain clarity on your current finances, evaluate your current money goals, and make a plan for your financial future. Think of the Money Date as practicing financial self-care: this is your time to sit down and show your finances some TLC and attention – in a way that will reduce stress while improving your financial competence and confidence!

Now we know that money and finances can be stressful, so we want to encourage you to make your Money Date as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. Go ahead and put on some comfy clothes, play some relaxing music, pour yourself a glass of wine or tea, and get ready for some quality one-on-one time with your finances.

All cozy? Perfect. Now it’s time to sit down with your statements from the past month and go through your transactions with a fine-toothed comb. We go into this in-depth in our free financial self-care guide, but here’s generally what you should be looking for:

  • Fraudulent or duplicate charges. You’d be shocked at how often these happen without noticing during the month. Once identified, you can dispute these with your credit card provider or bank to make sure you get that money back.

  • Subscriptions that you no longer use. It’s almost too easy to sign up for an “inexpensive” subscription or app and then realize that you haven’t used the service in several months. Use this opportunity to identify and cancel any unused subscriptions, services, or apps – this simple process could save you hundreds over the next year!

  • Areas I may have over-spent. Compare your monthly spending with your budget to see how they stack up. Take stock of where you overspent in the month, as well as where you didn’t spend as much as you budgeted. This is a chance to re-align your budgeting goals and make sure you are following your values-based spending plan.

The Money Date is a valuable practice that you can utilize throughout 2023 to stay on top of your financial goals. We suggest having a monthly money date to review your current finances, check in on your goals, and adjust your goals/plan to reach those goals accordingly!

2. Set small, specific financial goals for the next year

Once you have completed your Money Date, use the information that you compiled to take a step back and look at the last financial year as a whole. Identify a few areas where you would like to see financial improvement or change, and use those to set updated financial goals for 2024.

Do you want to start investing every month? Save more of each paycheck? Increase your income by a certain percentage? Be more intentional about preparing for retirement? Actually use all your PTO?

Whatever your money goals are, it’s important to make sure that they are both realistic and sustainable. Sure, saying that you will save 90% of your income in 2024 sounds amazing, but it’s probably not realistic or sustainable. Having clear and realistic financial goals that are sustainable for the entirety of the year will be key to maintaining your motivation and momentum towards those goals.

Once you have identified a few financial goals for the new year, take some time to physically write them down and put your list somewhere that you can see regularly. Not only will seeing this list daily help keep you motivated and on top of your goals, but a study found that physically writing down your goals improves your chances of reaching those goals by up to 42%!

Finally, make a practice of checking in on your financial goals monthly during your Money Date. See how much progress you have made towards your goals, evaluate if you are on track to reach them, and make appropriate adjustments to your goals or financial strategies in order to reach those goals next year.

3. Set yourself up for success

Now that you have clarity on your current finances and have financial goals created for the new year, it’s time to set yourself up for success so you have the best chance of sticking to and reaching your money goals.

Think of this time as “wrapping up loose financial ends” before the new year – this is your opportunity to complete any outstanding money-related tasks that will get the ball rolling on your new money goals and make them even easier to reach.

These loose ends will look different for everyone based on your personal finances, but they could include…

Rolling over your 401(k) with Capitalize is one of the easiest things you can do to simply your finances in 2023 and accelerate your New Year’s financial goals.

…rolling over your 401(k) from a previous employer into an IRA with Capitalize.

Did you switch jobs in the last year? There’s a chance that you left money sitting in a retirement account with a previous employer – money that you may never see again if you don’t roll it over into a new account! Capitalize makes it easy to locate and roll over your past retirement accounts so that you can prepare for your retirement with as little stress and as much financial impact as possible! The best part? Capitalize is a totally free resource and their team of experts will do all the legwork to roll over your 401(k) for you! Talk about starting the new year on the right foot!

…putting your emergency fund in a HYSA.

Putting your emergency fund in a HYSA (high yield savings account) will allow that money to earn as much interest as possible and work harder for you, even while it’s just sitting there! Opening and funding a HYSA will only take a few minutes and will give you a lifetime of financial benefit – literally giving you the most bang for your buck.

…putting your bills on auto-pay.

Putting your bills on auto-pay allows you to reach your goals with as little work and stress as possible. We suggest putting as many bills on auto-pay as possible so that you never miss a payment and so you never experience the temptation to spend money that should be going towards important bills. Go ahead, put your finances on auto-pilot and watch yourself cruise towards your new money goals.

Dang girl, your 2024 is looking so bright it’s got us reaching for our sunnies.

I get asked all the time: where do I start?!

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