The New Year brings new opportunities, new challenges, and new resolutions. Where many people may want to lose a few pounds, eat healthier, or spend more time reading, why not consider “financial health” as your New Year’s resolution? Here’s a few financial resolutions and ways to make them happen in 2018.
1. Create and Stick to a Budget
- If you don’t already have a budget, create one. Examine your monthly income, break it down into specific spending categories, and decide how much you need to spend in each category. Make sure to track your spending regularly, and adjust your habits if needed to reach your goals.
- Make your family a part of the budgeting and reward yourselves when you meet your goals.
- Try setting up a budget with online banking here.
2. Work to Improve Your Credit Score
- Increase your credit score by paying bills on time, keeping balances low on credit cards, and paying off debts rather than moving them around.
- Read more to understand your credit score here. Stop by a local branch for free financial counseling, as well.
3. Pay Down Debt
- Make a list of your debts and organize them the annual interest rate. Pay off those debts with the highest interest first.
- An easy way to stop accumulating debt is to stop using your credit cards. Remove all credit cards from your wallet, and leave them at home when you go shopping until you have your finances under control.
- To make a dent in your debt, you need to pay more than the minimum balance on your credit card statements each month.
- Put work bonuses or tax returns towards debt.
4. Start Saving for Retirement
- If your employer offers a 401k or a 403b plan, dedicate as much income as possible from your paycheck each pay period.
- Schedule an appointment to discuss your retirement options with a Family Trust Investment Services financial consultant here.
5. Learn Money Management Skills
- Take advantage of the many free resources provided by Family Trust to increase your financial knowledge here.
- Attend a free upcoming “Money Matters” session about Auto or Home Buying Basics or Budgeting, Credit Score, and Debt Consolidation. Sign up and learn more here.
None of these New Year’s resolutions will happen overnight, but with hard work and an aim towards financial health, all are achievable!