Investing Retirement Planning 7 Ways to Achieve Financial Success in 2022 By Dana Anspach Dana Anspach Twitter Dana Anspach is a Certified Financial Planner and an expert on investing and retirement planning. She is the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning and investment firm. learn about our editorial policies Updated on May 31, 2022 Reviewed by Michael J Boyle Reviewed by Michael J Boyle Michael Boyle is an experienced financial professional with more than 10 years working with financial planning, derivatives, equities, fixed income, project management, and analytics. learn about our financial review board In This Article View All In This Article 1. Create a Budget 2. Raise Your Contributions 3. Get Better at Your Career 4. Learn to Be a Boring Investor 5. Skip the Free Dinner Seminars 6. Ignore Headlines 7. Focus on the Future Photo: Martin Barraud / Getty Images Like the everlasting quest to get into shape, financial success is something that almost always shows up as a New Year’s resolution. But how do you turn your goal into a set of action steps that help you achieve it? If you want financial success in 2022, there are some real actions you can take to reach it. They all boil down to getting smarter about your spending, saving, and investment choices. Key Takeaways Two of the easiest ways to achieve financial success are to create and follow a budget and raise your retirement plan contributions.Make more money by improving your value at work (for promotions) and becoming a boring investor.Don't follow trending investment advice, and focus on the financial goals you've set. 1. Create a Budget One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to get control of your finances is to know where your money goes. Understanding how and where you spend can be a powerful insight, and it can help you create realistic savings goals. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers a free Income Tracker, Spending Tracker, Bill Calendar, and Budget Worksheet to help you get started. 2. Raise Your 401(k) or IRA Contributions If you already have a 401(k) or IRA plan, then consider increasing your contributions now. Even if you just increase them by 1%, you're still making progress toward achieving your goals; 1% can make a huge difference over the span of 20 years. You should also consider increasing your retirement contribution the next time you get a raise. If your workplace offers a 401(k) plan, then make sure you're contributing. If the company offers a match, make sure you're taking full advantage by contributing at least up to the percentage of your salary your company matches. If you don’t have a 401(k), then consider opening an IRA. You can do this easily online through companies like Vanguard or T. Rowe Price. 3. Get Better at Your Career The best way to have job security and make more money is to become better at what you do for a living. Pay attention at work. Look for ways to contribute. Be the one who gets things done. Find ways to collaborate with your co-workers. Set short-term and long-term goals. All of these actions can pay off in promotions and raises. 4. Learn How to Be a Boring Investor Famed economist Paul Samuelson said, “Investing should be dull. It shouldn't be exciting. Investing should be more like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” One strategy is to pick a few index funds (low-fee funds that own hundreds of stocks), put money into them regularly, and give your portfolio time. It shouldn’t be a surprise when the market goes down. It should be expected, like a drought. And during those times, you should just keep watering the grass. Consistent actions will help you achieve financial success. Note New to investing? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor.gov website offers many free resources aimed at helping new investors make informed choices. 5. Skip the Free Dinner Seminars Free dinner seminars on investing are usually offered by financial salespeople who will make a commission if you buy their services. Products and services marketed that way are not always the products that are best for you. If you’re not sure what to invest in, skip the dinner seminar, and hire a fee-only financial planner—someone who does not receive commissions for selling products. 6. Ignore Headlines Like “10 Stocks to Buy Now” This may seem like an appealing headline, but that doesn't mean it points to good investments. Keep in mind that the market moves happening today are not necessarily relevant to your long-term goals. Stock picking is not the way most people achieve financial success. Actions like saving a portion of every paycheck usually make a much bigger difference. 7. Focus on the Future, Not the Past Too many people invest by looking backward. They look at last year’s results and put their money in things that did well last year. That is not the best way to pick investments. Instead, focus on where you want to be in the future, and consider what long-term strategy is most likely to get you there. Investing money across multiple asset classes, like large cap, small cap, international, emerging markets, and real estate funds, is much better than moving money into what did well last year. The great thing about these ways to achieve greater financial success is that they’re easy, and anyone can do them. You don’t have to guess about the future or take big risks with your money. All you have to do is make a plan and follow through. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Budgeting: How to Create a Budget and Stick With It." Vanguard. "How to Open an IRA." Indeed. "Setting Goals to Improve Your Career." CBS News. "Paul Samuelson's Words of Wisdom." FINRA. "Free Lunch Investment Seminars—Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell." U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Financial Planners." U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Beginners' Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing."