Now that 2017 is in full swing, how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Although getting healthy and organized are two of the most popular goals every year, spending less and saving more is usually right up there with them. Take a look at these top tips for good financial health this year.
That’s the idea behind Famile-Funds– a free personal finance management product from Family Horizons. By using Famile-Funds, you can track all of your Home Banking accounts in one place – including the ones you have with us and those you have with other financial institutions.
Keep track of your spending. It’s hard to save money if you don’t know where it’s going in the first place. Whether it’s by using a good old-fashioned ledger or an app on your cell phone, record what and where your money goes. Not only will this help with creating a budget, you’ll also be able to identify areas in which you are overspending. And make sure you take advantage of Famile-Funds, our free personal finance management product that can track of all your home banking accounts in one place.
Establish a budget. Research shows that 70% of Americans don’t have a spending or savings plan. Once you know your spending habits, create a budget that includes not only monthly expenses, but also long-term and unexpected expenses. Make sure you include special project savings, too.
Get out of debt. For most of us, it’s usually debt that gets in the way of financial security and a healthy savings account. Start by adding an extra $50 to $100 to your monthly credit card payments. And focus on paying off your highest-interest debt first, then move on to the next highest, and so on.
Establish an emergency fund. Whether it’s a health-related crisis, unexpected property damage or significant home repairs, the occasional (and inevitable) emergency can be financially devastating. Prepare by adding an extra amount each month to your savings account (even if it’s just $10) specifically for emergencies.
Start a retirement account. If you haven’t already, take that first step in planning for retirement – even if it’s the most basic type. Do your research, and if possible, take advantage of any programs offered by your employer. And if you have access to a 401(k) matching program, sign up to receive the full matching funds amount.
Make saving a priority. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to dip into what’s earmarked for savings so you can a little impulse spending instead. If you have the option to direct deposit into your savings account, do it – you’ll feel less tempted to spend what you never have in your hand. And take advantage of special savings programs, like our Christmas Club account – where your money will earn interest while you save for next year’s holiday.
Seek help. If getting financially healthy leaves you feeling overwhelmed, take advantage of free financial seminars, check out resources from the library, and educate yourself the best you can. Better yet, give us a call. We are happy to discuss your financial goals, and help you decide which of our services and programs are right for you.
Educate yourself. Attend free seminars, read financial sections of the newspaper and improve your general money knowledge. You’ll be surprised at what you will learn to help improve your financial situation.
Enlist a professional. A Financial Planner can devise strategies to help you achieve your lifestyle and financial goals. Legislation, markets and investment structures can be complex – this is where you will appreciate the services of a professional. A Financial Planner will work with you to make the most of your income and help you plan for a financially comfortable lifestyle.