Easy financial wellness tips and guidance to ring in the New Year on the right—financial—foot
The new year is a time for renewal, reflection and goal-setting. Despite what the media has told us for years, New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to be about losing weight, making more money and virtually renouncing all of the decisions we made the year prior. Sure, we can learn from last year—and we’re fans of learning from our success and mistakes—but, let’s not dwell on “fast fixes” and extraneous changes.
Instead, this year, we invite you to discover financial wellness. You might be surprised to learn that financial wellness comes from little steps, not necessarily enormous changes. Don’t worry, we’ll help.
Create (and try to follow) a budget
Start the year off knowing that you’re living within your means and setting yourself up for success. (See: How to Create a Budget.) When you whittle down your debts and a plan for the future—for both retirement and unexpected life events—you’ll feel more comfortable splurging on that electric guitar or new puppy or whatever your heart fancies.
Connect with your partner
Have a partner? Get ‘em on board, too. Use this as an opportunity to connect with one another, share dreams, and set goals—together. (See: Talk Finances with Your Partner.) And, let’s not forget, it’s much easier to tackle finances when you’re on the same page.
Make a plan for each dollar you earn
It may seem redundant to make a plan for your money if you already have a budget. Trust us, it’s not. Your budget will help you keep track of your cash flow, though your plan will help you determine how much to put where, and when. For example, if you have an extra $300 this month, should you put it toward your mortgage, invest in the market, or put it in the bank? (See: Where Does the Next Dollar Go?)
Focus on building good credit
Potential lenders speak the language of credit and, if you’re not bringing a good score into the building, you might as well be speaking Latin! Building good credit is about making good choices—paying down debt, not skipping monthly payments, keeping your credit cards to a minimum, and so forth. Take the time this year to focus on boosting your credit score. And, hey, even if it’s already good, there’s always room for improvement! (See: How to Build Good Credit.)
Even if you’re penny-pinching on a strict budget, you’ll want to keep at your loan payments, whether for your car, house, college—you name it! It may be tough to find that cash to pay down your debt, but the extra steps will be worth your while. (See: How to Pay Off Debt When Cash is Tight.)
Save for retirement
Ah, yes. We’ll reach that ripe old age of retirement soon enough. And, you’ll want to be sure you have enough in the bank to be able to spend time doing things you love, not things you have to do to make your mortgage payment. (See: How Much Should I Save for Retirement?) Make a goal this year to put a little extra toward your retirement fund, whether that’s a 401k, 403b, Roth IRA, or whatnot.
Ring in the New Year feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to reach financial wellness. Download the Pocketnest app to help guide you along the way.