2024 Financial Resolutions
Happy New Year, Creative Financiers! 2023 was a bonkers year for me personally, and I’m sorry it took me away from my writing. Today’s post is all about 2024 financial resolutions for the new year, and certainly at the top of that list is continuing putting out financial advice and posts for you.
So what happened in 2023 exactly? What DIDN’T happen? Where do we even start?!
I spent the better part of a year planning a wedding with Mrs. Broadway Sara. Fun fact: Sara spent the actual first day of 2023 on her first Broadway contract. (1776 shout out!). We had the aforementioned wedding in November of this year, and it was a joyous emotional triumph beyond our wildest dreams.
I traveled for work to far and amazing places, including Mumbai, Macao, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and more cities. Not to mention vacation weekends throughout the US, and a long week in the UK.
Kimberly Akimbo won the 2023 Best Musical Tony Award, so obviously the puns today are all perfectly Akimbo.
And how did my now wife and I manage such a busy year? Our financial foundation was solid, and we continue to prioritize the tools that set us up for success. Budgeting. Emergency Fund. Consistent Investing.
So what are my hopes and dreams for 2024 now that 2023 is cruising away in the rear view window?
I know it’s not for everyone, but I do like the idea of creating resolutions. There have been studies that show that if you set a resolution for a date in the future (i.e. I’ll start doing this on January 1st!), you’re more likely to actually do that thing, and no less likely at all to not do it.
That’s kind of a win-win, right?
So let’s look at a few things on my mind for my 2024 financial resolutions:
1) Stick To My Budget
As the longtime readers will know, I have always been a vocal supporter of budgeting. If you’re new around here, I suggest you go back to one of my first posts about the importance of tracking your income and spending.
It’s impossible to know how to manage your money if you don’t have a sense of what’s actually coming in and going out each month.
However, even though I know what my budget ought to be, I have to admit sometimes I like to skirt around the edges of those numbers…
Maybe I’ve given myself $1,000 for dining out in a month. What’s the harm in spending $1,100? It’s just $100 more, right?
Well where does that $100 actually come from? If I’m meeting my expectations across the rest of my budget, that $100 might end up sitting on a credit card, and god forbid start accruing interest.
And what if next month is the same? Then it’s $200+ and the problem keeps snowballing and snowballing…
Resolution #1: stick tight to my budget.
2) Max Out My Roth IRA
Honestly this is one of my 2024 financial resolutions, but it deserves to make the list every year.
I’ve written here before about how Roth IRAs are a terrific place for artists and anyone who qualifies to save for their future. 2024 is no exception.
While I didn’t max out my Roth IRA *yet* for 2023, the good news is…I still have time!
You are allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA for 2023 up until April 15, 2024. So while maxing out my 2024 Roth IRA limit is one of the 2024 financial resolutions, finishing up my 2023 limit is also on the list!
And speaking of limits, the IRS increased the limit yet again for 2024. That’s right, opportunity is knocking, possibility is calling, and you can take the bull by the horns in 2024 making your account balance even BETTER!
The new limit for IRAs is up to $7,000 for individuals. The new income limits for Roth accounts are up as well. Now as long as you make under $146,000 as an individual (up from $138,000 in 2023) or under $230,000 as a married couple (up from $218,000), you can still contribute to a Roth account.
3) More “Forget It” in Set It & Forget It
The easiest way to invest for the long term and wake up 30 years later financially independent is to “set it & forget it”. One of my 2024 financial resolutions is to embrace the “forget it” part of that mantra.
I’m the kind of investor that is very controlled with my investing. I have a plan and I stick to it.
But I kind of like to check in on my investments, like, all the time.
And why? There’s no need to at all!
They go up a little bit, they go down a little bit. In the long run, it’s expected they will keep going up.
So what good does my lying in bed at night and analyzing how my mutual fund going up 0.12% affects my overall portfolio that day? Answer: no impact, Kimmy.
It’s just not worth worrying about. Of course I want to be aware of what I’m contributing on a regular basis and how it impacts my yearly budget. But that’s different from just watching my stocks and what they do every day.
What they do every day is honestly pretty miniscule. It’s what they do over 10, 20, 30 years- that’s their Inevitable Turn.
The funny thing about personal finance is how absolutely life-changing and incredible it can be to invest the time and energy into a foundational knowledge of how to manage and use your money, and yet how absolutely mundane it can and should be.
When I look at my 2024 financial resolutions, there’s an interesting balancing act occurring.
It will take true effort and conscious decision making to stick to my budget.
It will take relatively medium effort to stick to my plan and make sure I can get that Roth IRA maxed out for 2024.
It will take no effort at all to “forget it” (ok, it will take me a little bit of effort). But once I get into the right mindset, who cares?
I’ve been diligent with my investing enough that even if I left it alone for the next 30 years and didn’t invest another penny into my mutual funds and ETFs, my investments are still expected to grow to 20x what they are now.
That doesn’t get me all the way to where I want my wife and I to be eventually. But gosh, isn’t that amazing anyway?
So how can I help “forget it” in the meantime? I think I’ll focus on the Great Adventure of life for now.