By Jenny Spaudo, GoBankingRates featuring Samantha J. Garcia, CFP®, AIF®, CDFA®, Wealth Advisor at Halbert Hargrove

Have you thought about your financial New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, now is a great time to start. Over 27% of American adults say saving more money is their top financial goal for 2023, according to a recent GOBankingRates survey. Around 23% plan to get out of debt, and another 23% want to make more money.

What practical steps should you take to reach your goals next year? Here are the top money resolutions financial experts recommend if you want to get your finances on track in 2023.

Set a Budget To Achieve Your Goals

Hoping to save enough for a big purchase next year? GOBankingRates found that over 40% of adults are planning to buy a car in 2023, more than 26% expect to take an expensive vacation and around 24% would like to buy a home.

To reach your savings goal, though, you’ll need a budget, said Jay Zigmont, CFP and founder of Childfree Wealth. Creating and sticking to a budget throughout the year can help you stay on track with your savings and avoid overspending.

“It doesn’t matter if you follow a cash-stuffing approach, use an app, or just put it down on paper,” Zigmont said. “You just need to have a plan for your money each month. Your first month of budgeting won’t be perfect, but the key is to keep at it and keep making improvements.”

Pay Off Your High-Interest Debt

Many financial experts will tell you that, although not all debt is harmful, high-interest debt can quickly put a strain on your finances. According to a 2022 GOBankingRates survey, over 31% of American adults have more than $1,000 in credit card debt.

Paying off these debts can free you to invest, save and enjoy more of your money. Start by making sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your current loans, said CPA and finance coach Tatiana Tsoir. Try to make this a habit before taking on any new debts, too.

“Many people don’t understand the terms of their credit cards, bank accounts, loans, or cash advances,” she said. “Know what you’re getting yourself into and whether it’s going to help or hurt your financial situation.”

Contribute To a Retirement Account

“Are you contributing to a 401(k) or have access to it? If not, are you contributing to an IRA?” asked Samantha Garcia, a wealth advisor at Halbert Hargrove.

Start contributing to a retirement account now rather than later. Even if you can only contribute a small amount at first, starting early gives compound interest time to work in your favor.

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