Many people use the end of a busy holiday season as a time to sit down, take a breath, and plan for the future. New Year’s resolutions are a popular tradition—and a significant portion of people’s goals are centered on their finances. In fact, the Pennsylvania Capital Star recently cited data finding that nearly 40 percent of all New Year’s resolutions involved finances. No matter your family’s current financial situation, you can benefit from a post-holiday review.
At Hinkle Law, PLLC, our law firm is focused on helping people get out of debt so they can set up their finances for a secure and stable future. We want to make sure that you have all of the tools, information, and resources needed for a comprehensive financial review. In this blog post, our West Virginia bankruptcy and debt relief attorney highlights five tips for conducting a post-holiday review of your finances.
Five Tips for Reviewing Your Finances in 2022
1. Get Organized: Gather All Financial Information (Income, Bills, Debts, etc)
A financial review always starts with proper organization. The first step to getting your finances in order in 2022 is getting a handle on your situation. You need to know what you have coming in and going out each month. Among other things, this means:
- Gathering your most recent bank statements and investment account records;
- Obtaining your wage/income statements for recent months;
- Organizing all of your bills (mortgage/rent, car payment, utility bill, etc); and
- Getting a copy of all of the debts you own—including accounts that are “delinquent”.
Only when you have access to all of your financial information will you be in the best position to find a solution. In financial planning, knowledge is power. If you have any questions about tracking down relevant financial records, our attorney can help.
2. Identify Financial Goals—Your Individual Needs Matter
The core purpose of personal financial reviews—and financial planning in general—is to empower you to achieve your goals. As you conduct a post-holiday review of your finances, it is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about what you want to achieve with your finances. Common financial goals include:
- Ensuring that the bills are paid each month;
- Getting out of debt;
- Saving money for a home;
- Saving money for retirement; and
- Achieving financial independence.
Regardless of where you are currently on your financial journey, it is important to create a plan that is effective, achievable, and well-tailored for your specific needs. You can benefit from creating broad long-term goals (financial security and independence) and specific short-term goals (getting out of credit card debt within 24 months).
3. Create a Comprehensive Budget for the New Year
Do you have a personal budget? Is your budget up-to-date to reflect your current earnings and spending habits? It is crucial that you have a comprehensive budget for 2022. It is never too late to start budgeting. Whether you have had a budget for years or you have never created one in your life, putting together a relatively simple budget can make a big difference. As noted by Consumer.gov, a budget is simply a “plan you write down to decide how you will spend your money each month.”
In creating a budget for 2022, you can get the most clear-eyed view of your current financial situation. Are you spending more on certain areas/items than you actually think is appropriate? By tracking your spending, you will know the answer. Are your expenses and debts simply too high to achieve your current financial goals? It may be time to get professional help to restructure that debt so that you can get a fresh start.
4. Do Not Judge Yourself: Finances are Simply a Problem to Be Solved
One of the biggest impediments to personal financial planning is that people are too hard on themselves. If you are dealing with financial distress, it can be easy to feel frustrated, stressed out, and totally overwhelmed. There is a reason why the term “drowning” is often used in reference to debt—it can be downright suffocating. Do not judge yourself for past mistakes or bad luck.
The reality is that debt and other forms of financial distress are simply problems to be solved. Financial struggle is not a sign of poor character. No matter the circumstances that you are currently dealing with, many other people have been there before. There is always a path forward to a better future. The sooner you get started with a future-focused financial plan, the better.
5. Be Ready to Seek Professional Guidance and Support
You do not have to get your finances sorted all alone. If you are dealing with significant debt and you are struggling to see the path forward, our legal team is more than ready to help you find the solution. Our founding attorney, David J. Hinkle is an experienced debt relief and personal bankruptcy attorney who has helped thousands of people get out of debt. We are committed to providing non-judgmental, trustworthy guidance and advice to people and families.
You can work with us through the means with which you are more comfortable—whether that is in-person, by phone, by email, or through text message. We will gather, organize, and review your financial situation. Our goal is to help you achieve true financial peace and security. Among other things, this means shedding overly oppressive debt, getting to a situation where you are fully in control of your finances on a month-by-month basis, and rebuilding your credit score.
Schedule a Free, Confidential Review of Your Finances
At Hinkle Law, PLLC, our Martinsburg, WV bankruptcy and debt relief lawyer is a caring, kind, and solutions-driven advocate for people and families. If you have any questions about getting your finances in order and getting out of debt, we are more than ready to help. Get in touch with us by phone or connect with us online for your free, fully confidential financial review. With law offices in Martinsburg and Charleston, WV and Hagerstown, MD, our firm is well-positioned to provide bankruptcy and debt relief services throughout the region, including in West Virginia, Western Maryland, and Southwestern Pennsylvania.