A New Year and a New Look at Financial Wellness
New Year’s resolutions – many of us make them, a few will keep them, but many will fall to the wayside sooner than we’d like. If you’ve made a resolution to get your finances on track, we have some tips to help. And if you haven’t – why not add financial wellness to your list of goals for 2017?
Resolve to Achieve Financial Wellness with these helpful tips:
Create a budget – and stick to it! Budgeting is all about knowing how much money you have coming in versus how much is going out. Make a list of your sources of income (paychecks, student loan overage, money from mom and dad), and then a list of any bills or payments you make each month. This includes food, books, rent, utilities and other expenses. Keep in mind that having a budget in place doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. You can include a category in your budget for entertainment – just don’t spend the money budgeted for your electric bill on dinner out with friends. If you need help starting a basic budget, our partners at iGrad have created a spreadsheet you can download.
Understand your expenses. Once you’ve established a budget, you’ll know which bills you’re responsible for paying. But you can – and should – dig a little deeper. If you have a credit card, what is the interest rate? If you have student loans, could you be making interest payments while you’re in school? Are there ways you can save by setting up automatic payments for any of your bills? You may find ways you can save by making some simple adjustments.
Look ahead. You should always be thinking about your future and how you can set yourself up for financial success down the road. That starts with putting aside money into a savings account, as well as planning for retirement. It may seem like retirement is something you can worry about later, but the sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be when you reach retirement age.
If you’re a credit union member you should already have established a savings account – if not, visit your local branch to discuss your options. Planning for retirement can be a little more overwhelming, but iGrad also offers insight on how to start saving for your future.
Thinking about finances likely isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of enjoyable activities, but a little planning and organization can make it much less stressful. To get access to thousands of articles and a personalized educational plan, sign up for a free account with iGrad!
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