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Published: Jan 03, 2024 9 min read
Illustration of a bottle of 2024 champagne exploding into colorful hand drawn fireworks and strategic moves, alongside with dollar bills
Rangely García for Money

What do you hope to accomplish in 2024?

Do you want to lose weight? Land your dream job? Are you hoping to fly to Europe to see Taylor Swift's Eras Tour or finally start to get better with money?

We might not be able to help you with the first few — Taylor, please call us back — but that last one is absolutely achievable. Whether your financial goals for 2024 include saving more or spending less, investing smarter or paying off your loans faster, Money has resources to help you do it.

Our editorial staff has interviewed experts and compiled their best money tips into an easy checklist for the new year. Making these 10 money moves will put you in a perfect position to crush 2024.

Are you ready for it?

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☑ Pay off holiday shopping debt

The average credit card interest rate is over 22%, which means it's particularly painful to carry a balance from month to month right now. Make it a priority to quickly pay off that credit card debt you racked up buying Christmas gifts, plane tickets and, OK, maybe a Champagne bottle or five.

Try the avalanche method, negotiate with your lender or look into a personal loan. And don't forget you can always ask an accredited credit counselor for help if you need it.

Read more: 5 Ways to Pay Off Debt After the Holidays

☑ Actually keep your financial New Year's resolutions

Vague vows that you'll "save more money this year" are tired and ineffective. This year, mix it up — make financial New Year's resolutions you can actually stick to. Avoid pitfalls like attempting to overachieve, going it alone and giving up when you inevitably stumble.

Changing your financial habits takes time, but every day (and every cent) is a drop in the bucket.

"It doesn’t feel big on a month-to-month basis," says Stephanie Bucko, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Mana Financial Life Design. "But when you look back over a year, it’s pretty incredible what you can do."

Read more: Avoid These 7 New Year Money Mistakes That Could Doom Your Resolutions

☑ Protect your identity from AI-equipped scammers

As AI technology has rapidly evolved, so have scammers. Identity thieves are leaving old tricks like brute-force hacking in the past and instead are weaponizing social media and using tools like ChatGPT to write malicious phishing messages that purport to be from government officials.

Don't fall prey to these schemes. It's not enough to just skim an email for typos and call it a day. You need to keep your personal data close to the chest, pull your credit report regularly and verify that relative you think you're talking to online is actually them.

Read more: Scammers Are Getting Smarter. Here's How to Protect Your Identity This Year

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☑ Get a hold on the housing market

Nobody can predict exactly what's going to happen with the housing market this year, but most experts agree on one thing: It'll certainly be better than 2023.

With the Fed backing off its once-frenetic pace of rate hikes — and probably even slashing them — mortgage rates should fall. Home sales are set to rebound, and inventory could bounce back, as well. We might even see slight improvements to housing affordability, which is good news for buyers and sellers alike.

Read more: Housing Market Forecast: 4 Expert Predictions for 2024

☑ Ask your boss for a raise — and actually get it

Our no-nonsense guide to asking for a raise in 2024 includes advice on when to schedule the meeting, what to bring (spoiler: you need a brag book) and how much you should ask for. The conversation doesn't have to be awkward, but it does require a bit of elbow grease. It's crucial that you come prepared.

"We are talking about money," says Tramelle D. Jones, a career coach based in San Antonio, Texas. "It’s not just going to show up out of nowhere."

Read more: How to Ask for a Raise — and Get It — This Year

Rangely García, Money

☑ Invest with an eye on the Federal Reserve

After enacting a rash of rate hikes to curb runaway inflation in 2022 and 2023, the central bank has paused to consider next steps. Investors will be paying close attention to whether the U.S. economy achieves a soft or hard landing.

Experts predict that lingering concerns about a potential recession, what happens with the job market, the performance of tech stocks and the upcoming presidential election are set to dominate the conversation among investors in 2024.

Read more: Investing Outlook: 5 Expert Predictions for the Stock Market in 2024

☑ Consider buying an electric vehicle (with help from the IRS)

If you've been meaning to trade in your gas-powered car for a sleek electric vehicle, 2024 may be the year to do it.

EV dealers are offering large discounts to move inventory right now, and familiar auto brands like Honda, Volvo and Volkswagen are rolling out new EV models. A key part of the EV tax credit is changing so that drivers can get money to buy an EV upfront at the dealership (rather than having to wait until they file taxes). Compelling, right?

"It's really hard to say no to a $7,500 discount," says Edmunds consumer insights analyst Joseph Yoon. "It's free money. And if you can take it, you should take it."

Read more: Is 2024 the Year to Buy Your First EV?

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☑ Start your taxes well before Tax Day

Though the IRS hasn't begun formally accepting 2023 income tax returns yet, there are lots of good reasons to file early. (Chief among them is the fact that the sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund. Sorry, Uncle Sam.)

In fact, you can and should knock out several tax-related tasks before April, including contributing to your IRA before the deadline, requesting an IP PIN and pulling together all your tax paperwork. Doing some prep work now will make tax season a lot less painful later on.

Read more: Don't Wait 'Til April: Knock Out These 5 Tax Tasks Now

☑ Figure out what's going on with your student loans

Between the Supreme Court's decision on student loan forgiveness and payments resuming in October, last year was an eventful one for people with student debt. But 2024 has a slew of its own important student loan dates.

This year will see the rollout of a work perk that lets employers match employee student loan payments and deposit the money into a retirement account. President Joe Biden's SAVE income-driven repayment plan is scheduled to expand its benefits in July, and the "on-ramp" shielding borrowers from consequences for missed payments is set to expire in September. Mark your calendar.

Read more: 4 Key Dates Student Loan Borrowers Should Know in 2024

☑ Take advantage of a new retirement law

A handful of provisions outlined in the 2022 SECURE 2.0 Act are kicking in this year and providing some much-needed leeway for America's retirement savers. You may be eligible for automatic 401(k) enrollment, penalty-free hardship withdrawals or even a pension-linked emergency savings account. And more changes are to come.

"We're in an era where retirement planning falls on the individual," financial advisor LeTian Dong says. "The new rules will make retirement savings contributions and distributions more flexible."

Read more: Saving for Retirement Is Getting Easier in 2024 Due to the SECURE 2.0 Act

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