3 money resolutions to start your 2024 glow-up
By Rebecca Lake
Reviewed by Kimberly Rotter
Jan 03, 2024
Read time: 2 min
How do you know if 2024 will be your year to pull away from the pack, knock down your debt, and set your course for financial success?
Here’s a secret everyone should know. You get to decide whether and when to take the first step down the road to less debt, less stress, and more choices.
If you have the willingness, the plan for a financial glow-up in 2024 is yours for the taking.
Let’s do this.
Money Resolution #1: Commit to a budget you know you can manage
You've probably heard a thousand times that you need to make a budget. And maybe you've tried it and failed, or just don't know where to start.
If you want to make budgeting work for you in 2024, the first step is knowing how to make a budget. (Read that link.) Once you’ve got that down, the next step is setting realistic goals that will help you stay committed to your plan.
Here are some tips that can help you do that.
Schedule a weekly budget date with yourself or your budgeting partner to review your spending.
Make budgeting fun by challenging yourself to not spend. Track each week and get as close to zero as you can.
Use a budgeting app to keep track of your income and spending automatically.
Create a small rewards system to celebrate your wins every time you reach a money goal.
It can take a little time to get into a budgeting habit. Practice makes it easier. Once you're used to following a budget, it becomes second nature.
Money Resolution #2: Break up with credit cards
Credit cards are convenient, but they can put you in debt. Expensive debt. If you're used to pulling out your card to pay automatically, then the new year is a great opportunity to wean yourself away from plastic.
Take your cards out of your wallet. Freeze them in a block of ice in the freezer. Delete them from your favorite shopping websites. Use a debit card every time you need to provide 16 digits.
If you’re an impulsive spender, try making a needs vs wants list to cut down on unnecessary spending. If your spending habits feel out of control, you might benefit from credit counseling or family therapy. Spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need is often an emotional problem more than a financial one.
If you're spending on credit because you're stretched thin financially, you've got a financial challenge. In that case, you might want to talk to a debt expert about how to deal with debt that you can’t afford to repay.
Money Resolution #3: Choose (and begin) a debt strategy that fits your situation
If you're tired of dragging debt around, the new year is a good time to think about how you can get rid of it.
When debt is a big problem, there are a few different options for dealing with it, including:
Debt management plans
Debt consolidation means taking out a new loan to pay off multiple smaller debts. Then you make payments to the new loan. Consolidating doesn't reduce what you owe, but it might save you some money on interest if you can get a lower rate. Personal loans and home equity loans are two popular ways to consolidate debts.
A debt management plan is a repayment plan designed to pay off all your debts in full within 3 to 5 years. You usually need to stop using credit cards while you’re on the plan. You make a single monthly payment to a credit counseling agency that administers the plan, and they distribute it to your creditors.
Debt resolution is negotiating with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe. It’s for someone with a financial hardship who can’t afford to repay their unsecured debts without some degree of forgiveness.
Talking to a debt expert could help you decide which path is right for you, and how to get one step closer to your best financial year ever.
Rebecca is a senior contributing writer and debt expert. She's a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a banking expert for Forbes Advisor. In addition to writing for online publications, Rebecca owns a personal finance website dedicated to teaching women how to take control of their money.
Kimberly is Achieve’s senior editor. She is a financial counselor accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, and a mortgage expert for The Motley Fool. She owns and manages a 350-writer content agency.