With the New Year, comes new adventures, challenges, and opportunities. It’s the perfect time to reflect on how far we’ve come, and look forward to what’s ahead, including tackling those personal and professional goals. To give you a head start, we’ve compiled a helpful to-do list so you can begin working towards even better financial wellness in 2022!
Revisit your budget
Whether it’s time to dust off an old budget or start drafting a new one, now is a great time to get acquainted with your expenses. Start planning for the weeks and months ahead. Ask yourself: Where will you be spending money each month (rent/mortgage, groceries, bills, subscriptions, etc.)? Are there ways you can make tweaks to cut back? Once you really start to dig into different buckets of spending, you’ll be surprised to see how much you can save each month.
To help you stick to your budget plan, you may even consider having one account for necessary (or “needs”) spending for things like your mortgage, gas, and bills, and another account for discretionary (or “wants”) spending such as take-out, online shopping, and subscriptions. If you give yourself a weekly allowance, you can control how much is in your “wants” account to be sure you aren’t going over your allotted amount.
Build up your emergency savings
A key part of your budget each week (or pay period) should be transferring funds into an account for emergency savings. If you’re able to utilize direct deposit or automatic transfer to put a portion of your paycheck into savings, even better! That way, you won’t be tempted to spend the money before you have a chance to move it over. Even having $1,000 stored away for a rainy day can be a huge help. As a longer-term goal, aim to have at least three months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency savings.
Remember your retirement savings
Even though retirement may be decades away for you, steps you take now will have a meaningful impact in years to come. If your employer offers a 401(k), take advantage of this key benefit and any matching programs available. If possible for you, it’s recommended to put at least 10% of your pre-tax income into retirement savings (or more if you can afford it or need to catch up). You’ll be surprised by how quickly your investments can add up. Be sure to keep in mind the maximum contributions allowed in various retirement accounts each year, as well as rules, fees, and other stipulations.
Keep tabs on your credit score
Your credit report (which contains your credit score) is a key financial document used by lenders to determine if you’re eligible for a loan, and it may also be checked when you apply for a job, sign up for insurance, or go to rent a property. There are several key things you can do to help improve your score—for example: paying bills on time, not opening too many credit accounts, and maintaining a financially healthy balance between credit available to you and credit you actually use. It’s a smart idea to carefully review your credit report for accuracy at least once a year. An error could indicate you’ve been the victim of identity theft—something you’d want to correct right away.
Let digital banking do the heavy lifting!
You have the power to manage your finances where and when it works for you—and right at your fingertips. With digital banking, you can keep tabs on your accounts, pay bills, transfer funds, deposits checks, send money to family and friends, set up automated alerts, and more. Going digital is a great way to gain financial confidence and real-time control.
If you have questions or need support, we’re here to help. Give us a call 24/7 at 800-860-8821 or book an appointment online and come see us safely when it works best for you!
This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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