By now, most people have made their resolutions for self-improvement in the new year. While the most popular resolutions tend to focus on physical health,
the start of a new year is also a perfect time to prioritize your financial wellness.
Ready to get started? Here we go!
1. Make a budget and stick to it . Budgeting is one of most
effective ways to manage your money
. Creating and monitoring a budget allows you to track your expenses, adapt to changes, and achieve your financial milestones. Budgeting can also help you save for emergencies and plan for the long run, including retirement.
online budget building tool
to break your budget down into simple, easy steps and get started.
2. Build your emergency savings. Unexpected expenses happen more often than we like to think.
According to a 2018 Bankrate study,
more than half of Americans are not financially prepared to cover the costs that come with emergencies, such as illness, job loss, or even home and auto repairs.
on the immediate steps you can take this year to start and grow your savings.
3. Plan for your retirement now. Less than half of Americans take the steps needed to
set themselves up for a secure retirement
. While saving for the future is easy to put off in favor of more immediate needs, the earlier you start, the more opportunity you’ll have to grow your savings over time.
There’s no better time than now to start
planning for retirement
. Learn about options, like IRAs and 401(k) plans, with our free retirement education.
4. Get ahead of your taxes. Taxes are confusing, and many people get bogged down by complex terms and lengthy paperwork. However, your taxes don’t need to be a source of anxiety. In fact,
getting ahead of your taxes
can reap many benefits, including lowering stress and having early access to a refund for year-long planning.
Make filing your taxes a breeze with tips from our five-minute
interactive learning module
5. Take control of your credit. Your credit score can have a significant impact on your financial security and flexibility. Many people have never had the opportunity to learn what a credit score is, what factors impact a credit score,
and what actions they can take to make sure their score is healthy.
Take a few minutes to understand the factors
that impact your credit score
and you’ll be well on your way to building a more secure financial future.
Access our entire library of financial education topics at: redwoodcu.org/financial-wellness.
This article was developed as part of Redwood Credit Union’s partnership with EVERFI, Inc.