Healthy, Financial New Years Resolutions
Get more exercise. Lose weight. Quit smoking. These are the bold boasts of New Year’s resolutions each year. Folks commit themselves to radically changing their lives at the start of the calendar year. About 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions in the average year, and most have to do with health.
But the same line of thinking can be taken in the context of your financial health. Let’s look at some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions ever made and how to translate them into personal finance resolutions. We’ll also have a few tips on how to stick to them!
“Lose weight” – Trim the fat from your budget
Retailers have Black Friday in November; gyms have it on Jan. 2. Everyone will be trying to shed the holiday pounds by spinning, swimming and sweating.
There’s another place you can trim fat besides your belly: your budget. Make a plan to sit down and discuss how you spend money each week. Look at your spending habits for places you can make cuts without sacrificing things you enjoy. Pay special attention to groceries and meals out.
Don’t feel like you have to give up everything at once. Just as you need to start slow when working out to avoid injury, feel free to start slow with cutting back your expenses. That way, you avoid the potential for snapping back later, or you’re prepared should something major happen.
“Make More Family Time” – Make a will
Time is short. Spend it with people and things you care about. Although recently the way we spend time with one another may be at a six foot distance or virtually, it’s still important to enjoy the time you have with the people who mean the most to you.
That same realization that life is short should be a call to make sure your finances are in order. Making a will can help to ensure that your passing will be another time of family togetherness. Your family can focus on helping each other through the difficult time of your passing rather than dealing with bill collectors and lawyers trying to divide your stuff.
This resolution really doesn’t take too long. Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to make sure you’re covered. Preparing a will doesn’t mean you plan to die soon. It’s is a courtesy you do for your family in the event you pass away unexpectedly. Even if it’s not used for many years, making a will can provide peace of mind for you and your family.
“Get healthy” – Start investing
Eating right and taking care of yourself are good steps to take for your future. A well-balanced diet can make you feel years younger. It can even save you money in doctor’s visits and prescription drugs.
To set yourself up for a bright financial future, start planning for your retirement. At the very least, make this the year you max out your retirement contributions. If you don’t have an IRA or similar retirement account, that’s another good place to start.
Looking at a number like $6,000 (the maximum IRA contribution in 2020) can be discouraging. Who has that kind of money sitting around? It’s helpful to break that down – $458 out of each month’s income will get you to the maximum. You can set up automatic withdrawals that go into an IRA or savings account to make the process go more smoothly. Learn more about an IRA or contact our staff help you better understand how to set up an IRA, today!
“Cut down on stress” – Save for big events
Stress is a big-time killer. It shortens your life and makes the remainder less fun to live. Resolving to take time for yourself and your family can improve your life dramatically.
But, that’s not always easy. Not only are holidays a stressful time of year, when planning how you can afford all that you hope to, but big life events like buying a house, paying for college, a wedding, a baby, or even a surgery and more, can also cause stress on both couples and individuals.
Planning to have bigger medical expenses this year? Perhaps an Health Savings Account might be the right fit for you. Looking to save for a wedding or even looking to consolidate debt? A home equity loan might be your best option. Talk to our staff at your local FCCU branch about what option is best for you, so can save, plan ahead and hopefully have a less stressful 2021.