If you look at a list of top new year’s resolutions, there’s typically one related to money on the list and 2023 is no different. So, if you “resolved” to spend less, save more or just get your finances in order — keep reading. NewsChannel 3 spoke to a financial well-being coach about getting ‘Financially Fit’ in 2023.

Jessica Holmes is a financial well-being coach with Operation Hope. She specializes in Credit and Money Management.

3 Ways to Get Financially Fit in 2023

·        Put Overall Goals in Writing

“You really don’t know what you want to achieve until you actually have something in writing,” says Holmes. Seeing those goals in writing she explained helps with the next step.

·        Develop a Budget

Holmes said, “You can’t really talk about saving if you don’t really know where your money is going in and out of. So you want to start with your budget after you know what your goals are.”

Another key to budgeting Holmes explains is tracking spending, which includes keeping a close eye on bank statements.

“A lot of times people will just swipe their cards and you’ll get that statement and you never look at it. But you may be missing out on some money somewhere where you could have saved or it could be where you could have got charged for something that you don’t know of.”

Holmes told WREG when consumers truly track their spending, it can be a true reality check.

“I have a couple of clients that will say, oh, I only spend about $200 a month in food, and then I tasked them with checking their bank statement at the end of the month and they come back and they’re like, Jessica, I spent way more than $200!”

·        Set Savings Goal

In order to get from resolution to reality, Holmes says it’s critical for people to not just say they want to save, but create a savings goal and plan. She also says one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to saving.

Holmes said, “Clients will ask me all the time, what’s a good amount to save? And I tell them, you let me know. We’re here to put this plan together because no one individual that we work with is the same. So if one percent of your income is where you want to start and we work our way up to a goal of 10 percent then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Holmes also encourages clients to separate their savings by setting aside money for personal savings, an emergency fund as well as a “dream fund” for big ticket items or long-term wishes.

Finally, Holmes said, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help because money can be an intimidating topic for a lot of people.”

Holmes is hosting her next workshop on January 21st at 11a.m. via Teams.

You can sign up to attend here: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/OperationHOPE2513472@operationhope.org/bookings/.