Meal prep, gym memberships, giving up bad habits, the usual goals when starting a new year. But more and more, we’re realizing that financial wellness plays a big part in our overall well-being. Not sure where to start on your path to financial health? Here are a few tips to get started:
Understand where your money goes
Before you can start setting short and long term goals, you must first understand where your money goes. Start by tracking your sources of income. Then to get a handle on your money, track your daily spending. If you have problems making ends meet some months, write your bill due dates on a calendar that you can reference as you plan for the weeks ahead.
Commit to small changes
By committing to a few small changes, you can be well on your way to improving your current financial situation. This can be as simple as bringing your lunch a few times a week or setting up automatic transfers into your savings account each month.
Actively talk about your finances
You don’t have to disclose personal details about your debt or savings to your friends, but meeting with a financial pro can put you on the track to success. Confused about all the different types of retirement funds, student loan repayment options or your credit score? The internet is full of free resources to help you learn the basics of financial literacy, and your bank can also be a great resource!
Develop a savings plan
Just like setting your New Year’s resolutions, setting a goal for what comes next in your financial plan is important. Once you understand your current financial state, developing a savings plan can be the next step to improving your financial health. This can include building an emergency fund, setting up a 529 savings plan for your children, or kick starting your travel fund for that next family vacation.
Celebrate along the way
Working towards healthy finances can be hard. There will be changes, sacrifices, and most likely set-backs along the way. So as you see that extra money in your account after making some small changes, or pay off another personal debt, be sure to celebrate the milestones along the way!