Getting Started on Your Financial Resolution

    2 minutes
    New year, new money habits: changes for improving your financial health.
    The dawn of a new year is a time for powerful new beginnings and a great time to commit to financial health. It is an opportunity to look at our everyday money habits as we manage financial challenges.

    We might already have some healthy money habits like carefully reviewing your credit card statement each month. As the year gets going, there are opportunities to build on these habits and create new ones. Building money habits can affect your entire wellbeing. Our partner, GreenPath, shared a few ideas to try as you get those financial resolutions going for the New Year.

    1. Make a goal (and write it down)
    Goal-setting gives you direction. You can decide on your destination and make a plan to get there. This action might seem small, but it’s not. Make it a habit to look at monthly finances and write down one or two goals. The goal could be taking a bite out of your credit card balances or setting aside a small amount each month for a large purchase.

    2. Set it and forget it
    If you don’t have many of your bills set to automatic payment, set up auto pay on monthly utilities, cable and other bills. This lets you be sure bills are paid on time. This can be setup in online and mobile banking. You should also consider setting up “auto save” to build your thoughtless saving habits as well. If you set a goal to save for a big purchase, like a down payment for a car, automate monthly savings to help you achieve your goal. You can do this by setting up automatic transfers in online and mobile banking or use direct deposit from your paycheck to automatically place funds in your goal savings account.

    3. Spend with care
    Thoughtful spending is a powerful financial habit to build. If you don’t already have one, sharpen your skills by using a monthly spending plan. We have a free spending plan worksheet on our website to help you get started. You’ll learn how much money you have to work with, the amount that is going out each month for bills and expenses, what you need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can devote to your goal from each paycheck.

    4. Deal with debt
    Think about your habits when using your credit card and when considering your total debt situation. How many purchases are made with credit cards? What are your current balances on credit cards and other debt? If you are in the habit of only making minimum payments on your credit card balances or experiencing collection calls, consider contacting our partners at GreenPath about a Debt Management Plan.

    5. Celebrate your progress
    You likely have many positive habits already and that is something to be proud of since you can apply those lessons to building new money habits. Make it simple. Tackle one thing at a time. And most importantly, celebrate your wins. The New Year is sure to be a success when you make these new habits work for you.

    Ready to build new money habits?
    Our Financial Health Centers specialize in helping people build and maintain financial slack. We’re here to support you in getting those new financial habits going and celebrate with you along the way.