Creating Your Budget for 2024


If you are excited about your new goals and mapping out your year, you will want to set some budget plans alongside it all. Budgeting may not be the shiny new resolutions you want to think about, but you can reframe it to be a way to support your goals. Let’s explore four questions to think about when creating your budget for 2024.


Are you traveling this year?

Perhaps you want to visit family or see a new place; if that is true, what do you need to get there? You need money. If you can pull it out of savings immediately, that’s fantastic; if not, you need to budget for your trip. So, sit down and think, how much will it cost travel-wise? What is staying there going to cost? Are you staying at a hotel, are you camping, are you staying at a friend’s house? What does food cost during the time of our trip? Are there any tickets you need to purchase for this trip?


Have a bit extra for just-in-case expenses, like a canceled flight, a souvenir, or a last-minute event you wish to attend. Adding this all up can give you the approximate price of your trip. From there, break it down into what you need to save each month so you aren’t panicking during the journey but feel supported financially as you go on your vacation.


What are your long-term goals?

If you plan on retiring in a few years, do you have plans to work after, or will you be living off of your savings and retirement funds? If you have long-term goals of buying a house at your next base, this is something you should be saving up for now. Break down your timeline for your long-term goals to see what is needed. Having multiple savings accounts for different plans is okay, meaning you have separate ones for your house, car, vacation, and retirement savings


If thinking about all the dreams you want to save for hurts your head, add automatic withdrawals to move that money into your various savings accounts. Your actions today can help you achieve your long-term goals in five years. Knowing how much money is going towards goals will influence your 2024 budget.


What are your current costs of living?

As frustrating as this can be to add up, especially if you think about what living costs used to be five years ago or in the 90s, the cost of living has risen, and if you still think it is the same price as it was ten years ago, you can find yourself in a hole pretty quickly. Set aside time to look through your receipts and bill payments to add them up or sit down with a banker at Armed Forces Bank to help you see where your money is going.  You can also take advantage of helpful online tools like budget calculators, allowing you to get a full picture of your finances. As tempting as it might be to skip this step, knowing your numbers will give you the power to make solid choices.


How do you want to give back?

Not everyone may budget for this, but giving back gives you endorphins and the knowledge that you made a difference. You can give to a faith group of your choosing, a non-profit you love, or have spare money to tip extra, or send to people you know are struggling. Part of being in the military is that we are all connected, and giving back can bring you comfort and  ultimately create a ripple toward the good you want to see, which is worth budgeting for.


There are many different things to consider when it comes to budgeting, and sitting down with a banker from Armed Forces Bank can help you make decisions that feel aligned for you. May your 2024 be abundant, and may your budget help you live a year you love.



This article is sponsored by Armed Forces Bank. To speak with a Financial Education Specialist, email Armed Forces Bank at [email protected]. Armed Forces Bank is a full-service military bank committed to serving those who served since 1907. Armed Forces Bank provides a vast array of affordable and easily accessible financial products to both active and retired military and civilian clients in all 50 states and across the world. When you’re in the military, your needs are different, and your banking should be too. That’s why no matter where you are stationed in the world Armed Forces Bank strives to make everything from banking solutions to financial advice and personal valuable and convenient for you with numerous services, including online and mobile banking tools to help you bank on your schedule.



About the Author: 

Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and