Succeed in maintaining positive savings habits in 2023
Late January is around the time when New Year’s resolutions start breaking down. One study showed that only 64% of people that made a resolution were keeping up with it after a month. This means roughly a third of the people that vowed to make a change for the better already have given up.
Committing to a goal and sticking with the plan is demonstrably difficult. We are creatures of habit. Change usually brings about fear and hesitation, even when the goal is something desirable. Those able to instill new habits do so by creating systems and processes that make it easier to stick with it. Effecting change is more than sheer willpower.
Better eating habits means ridding your house of unhealthy food. More exercise means more time in the gym. More saving means more money directed into retirement accounts.
Luckily, there are already systems in place to meet the third goal.
For workers that have 401(k), 403(b), or other similar employer-sponsored retirement plans, making positive changes does not take weeks of practice. Figuring out the maximum amount to save each paycheck may take some honest assessment of personal spending habits, but will pay “dividends” in the future (pun intended).
‘Paying yourself first’ has long been the mantra in putting money away for retirement. This means to put a percentage of your paycheck into a 401(k) if available, and/or IRA, and/or Health Savings Account (HSA), and any other vehicle available through your employer or in a personal account.
Paying yourself first eliminates the ability to spend the money now since it goes directly into retirement accounts. Putting the maximum amounts into any and all available savings types is the ideal scenario, but not always realistic. If your employer has a match, utilizing that to the fullest amount is a great place to start. Even without a match, deferring as much as possible should be a priority.
Below are the 2023 contribution limits for some major account types. There are several tax advantages that differ by account type. Please consult with a tax and/or financial advisor to understand the benefits and exceptions for each account type. This is not meat to be an exhaustive list.
Select 2023 Account Contribution Limit Increases
The contribution limit for traditional and Roth IRAs are combined amounts, meaning you cannot contribute $6,500 to both in a single year. The $6,500 is the total allowable amount for either a traditional or Roth or some combination between the two.
Setting up automatic contributions to whichever plans or accounts you have available will ensure you maintain positive saving habits and do not fall victim to failed money saving resolutions.