Ring in a New Year of Financial Wellness

December 31, 2021

Categories: Financial Goals, Financial Security, Tips

As the New Year approaches, many of us make lists. Lists of resolutions, goals, and hopes.

For me, I always have a goal to become more organized, and to get in better physical shape.  This year particularly, I am adding the goal of financial wellness to my list.

The New Year offers a great opportunity to take a look at attainable financial goals, and to re-evaluate investments and accounts. 

Here are five easy steps to start you on the road to financial wellness:

  1. Determine a starting point. Create a financial picture for yourself. Think about what you need, what you want, where you are now, and where you hope to be.  Review your cash flow and include any special things for which you are saving up (new house, wedding, new baby, that trip of a lifetime, etc.)
  2. Consider what stresses you out about your finances. What financial worries are keeping you awake at night? Write these down. It helps when you can visualize these issues. If they are reasonable and fixable, and you can do something about it, do it!
  3. Pay yourself first. Many retirement plans funded by employers allow you to put pre-tax dollars toward your future, and if you have funds automatically deposited into saving accounts, your paycheck will reflect an amount after taking care of your longer-term financial goals. If your employer offers a matching contribution, make sure that you are saving enough to benefit from it so that you are taking advantage of “free money.”
  4. Expect the unexpected.  The past two years have thrown us a lot of curveballs. Review your insurance policies. Make sure that your home, car, and other assets are protected in case of financial or physical disaster. Setting up an emergency fund can also be a good way to protect yourself and your family should the unexpected happen. Start with one month’s expenses and work toward a fully funded emergency fund (six months or more of expenses and not tied to stocks or money market accounts).
  5. Plan regular check-ups of your finances.  Review your credit report. Make sure that your financial goals stay relevant. Life happens. Things change. Make sure that your finances are working with you as things change. An annual appointment with a financial professional may help.

Starting off the New Year with these five simple steps is a great way for you to feel more in control of your financial picture, and help you have a less stressful 2022!

Happy New Year!

By Dawn Kellogg, Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist for The Summit Federal Credit Union.