22 ways to save, invest and become smarter with money 2022

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I do not know about you, but I feel (20) 22.

Or at least I feel ready to make some changes in my money and financial habits. If you want too, this list is a good place to start.

You can think of these as financial decisions, or as relatively simple financial ones to make to maximize your money next year. Not all information will apply to every person, but hopefully there is enough variety for you to find some that appeal to you.

Something else to keep in mind: You do not have to uncheck all the objects at once. Bookmark this and come back to it throughout the year, or use it as a starting point to make your own list for 2022. (If you make your own I would love to see it.)

Without further ado, here are 22 ways to get the most out of your 2022 money.

Imagine your perfect year

As you call in the new year, take the time to reflect on 2021 and think about what, if anything, you would like to do differently in 2022. What went well in 2021? What would you like to change in 2022? Is there anything you have put off that you can finally take steps to accomplish? Spend an evening thinking what you want out of the year.

2. Track your growth

If you want a good overview of your financial position, it is a good start to calculate your net worth. These are mainly your assets (cash on checking and savings accounts, investments, real estate, cars, etc.) minus your debts (student loans, mortgages, overdue credit card bills, etc.).

Try to do this at the beginning of each month in 2022 to see if and how you move towards any savings or debt repayment targets. You can use an app like Personal Capital or You Need a Budget, or create your own Excel tracking sheet. I do it later, tracking the balance on my savings account, checking account, 401 (k), Roth IRA and broker account on the first day of each month. I currently have no debt, but if I did, I would include these balances as well.

Comparing my balance in December 2021 with the beginning of 2019, when I started, shows me how my monthly contributions have slowly increased my net worth, even though they do not feel so much right now. And if I see a decrease from one month to another, I find out what’s going on and if there’s something I need to do to get back on track.

Invest in an index fund

4. Be careful with trading apps

5. See an economist

6. Monitor your accounts

7. Find some inspiration

8. Ask what you are worth

9. Improve your credit rating

10. Make a plan for your benefits

Familiarize yourself with your employer benefits this year. There may be things available that you have not been aware of, such as financial planning sessions, fitness options or gym allowances. Taking a few minutes to go through your HR portal or contacting your benefit manager directly can yield surprising results.

And remember, in some cases, if you rolled over FSA funds from the previous year, you will have to spend them on a certain date. Do not let them be wasted.

11. Do a task that you have postponed

Schedule a recurring life administration day

13. Learn about crypto

14. Calculate your pension number

15. Contribute more to your Roth IRA

16. Increase your savings rate

17. Reduce your expenses

Another way to save a little and make sure you spend on what’s important to you is to rank your expenses.

Do this by making a list of all your unnecessary expenses over the past three months. Then rank them and try to reduce or reduce the expenses for the least important or necessary. Think about what money you would save on these expenses and what it would look like if you instead invested them in one of your goals.

18. Prepare for the resumption of student loan repayments

19. Make your money count

20. Stop timing the market

21. Speak it out

22. Invest in yourself

Last week during a Twitter Q&A, I was asked what people should do if they get a year-end bonus. Of course, the “responsible” personal finance classics immediately came to mind: Pay down debts, add them to your Roth IRA, save them in a savings account for a rainy day.

But after the last two years, I think we could all use something a little more, yes, fun. So this year, if you can do it, use some of your money to invest in yourself in a way that you have always wanted but never been able to justify before. Maybe it’s by taking a class for a whole new area or hobby, or finally taking the step to move to your dream city.

Whatever it means for you to invest in yourself, make a promise to actually go for it by 2022. You deserve it.

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