It’s no secret that 2020 and 2021 were challenging years to say the least. We are going on two years of living through a global pandemic. We’ve heard of cargo ships sitting off the coast unable to be emptied, with goods and supplies just waiting to be put on the shelves. We keep hearing of supply shortages, labor shortages and high inflation.
This is a time that is different than any other time most of us can remember. We have heard our financial planning clients ask if they should take their money out of the stock market, and others ask if they should put more money into the stock market. Many are asking if they should sell a home, buy a home, or refinance. People are fearful, hopeful, and dazed. So what should we do right now during this tumultuous time? Perhaps you can turn this year into an opportunity. In this blog, we will discuss 6 financial goals that you can consider for 2022.
Goal 1: Save for Future Large Purchases
It’s no secret that prices are high right now. You’ve probably noticed your grocery bill creeping up, and you’ve probably noticed how expensive it is to fill your tank with gas. Supplies are highly inflated because of the lack of inventory due to the lack of labor workers able to stock shelves.
This shortage has led to higher prices and lower supplies. During a time like this, making large purchases means that you’re going to be spending more money on the items that you want or need. It’s a great time now to save for these future purchases and wait for prices to level off, or even come back down, rather than buying them right now. Maybe you’ve been wanting to redo your kitchen, or buy a new car. Once supplies are back up, prices for many of these goods should come back to a more reasonable level.
Goal 2: Change of Career or Higher Education
Now may be a great time to look into a change of career if you’ve been thinking about one. With the labor market the way it is, so many jobs are open that it may be a great time to step into something different if that’s what you have been desiring.
With the flexibility of employers right now, you could also work part-time in a different field to see if it’s something that you might like to do long-term. Staying in a job that is not satisfying can weigh on mental and physical health. If you’ve been unhappy with your current career and have been thinking for years that you need a change, now just might be the time to do that.
Maybe you have been thinking of going back to school, but finances have been prohibitive. Many employers are now offering tuition incentives to their employees to pursue higher education. You can try out some courses courtesy of your employer and decide if pursuing more education is the right path for you.
Goal 3: Start a Side Hustle
If you’re not ready to completely change your career, but there’s always been something that you’ve been interested in, it may be a great time to start a side hustle. This would not only help you fulfill your interests, but it can also help you bring a little bit of extra income. It may be a stepping stone to a new career or starting a new business. Whatever the reason is, starting a side hustle can be a great start.
Goal 4: Emergency Fund
Regardless of the time that we are in, emergency funds have always been at the top of most financial priority lists. Given the last two years, emergency funds have become even more important. When the world shut down in 2020, many people realized how important these funds actually are. Many were unable to go to work, and those living paycheck to paycheck had a hard time figuring out where their next rent or mortgage payment would come from.
We recommend having an emergency fund that’s in a separate bank account detached from your checking account. There is no reason to see it every time you open your bank app. Make automatic paycheck deductions directly to your savings account if your job will allow it. If not, set up automatic transfers from your checking account. Having savings automated and not having it in your line of sight each day can make it easier to put money aside and leave it there.
Goal 5: Debt Payoff
Most people strive to be debt-free, or at least mostly debt-free. Getting rid of high interest credit card debt and high monthly auto payments would feel so great. Getting there can be difficult, but so gratifying. Many people were able to take advantage of the student loan forbearance time and make extra payments on other debt that they had, which was a great move.
If you’re not out of debt, now is a great time to make a plan to get you there. With the labor market the way that it is, there are plenty of opportunities to make extra money on top of your regular income. A little extra income each month can make that debt payoff happen even quicker.
Employers are more flexible than ever because they need people to work, and starting pay is also higher than ever. Even a few hours a week could help you make an extra debt payment.
Goal 6: Hire a Financial Planner
Historically, hiring a financial planner has been seen as being something only wealthy people can afford. There’s still somewhat of a stigma attached to having a financial planner. But there are many planners out there that seek to help people make their finances the best that they can be.
Finding a fee-only credentialed financial planner could be the best move that you make for yourself in 2022. A fee-only planner is going to help you look at your whole financial picture, help you set your goals, and come up with a financial plan with you that works for you and your family. This will allow you to take the guesswork out of managing your money. It will also allow you the peace of mind to relax and stop thinking about if you’ve been making the right financial decisions.
Get Started On Your 2022 Financial Goals
There are many other financial goals people can make for themselves. This list covers some goals that might be a great starting point for you in your personal financial journey. If you have questions and would like to speak to one of our fee-only financial planners, we are here! Schedule a complimentary discovery call today!
Kayla Welte, AFC®, ChFC®, CFP®, has been helping clients maximize their finances since 2009. With a background in financial education & counseling, Kayla is passionate about helping people prioritize & reach their financial goals. Kayla is a Financial Planner at District Capital Management, a financial planning firm designed to help professionals in their 30s & 40s achieve their financial goals through smart investing, reducing taxes, retirement planning, & maximizing their money. Schedule a free discovery call today.