Financial Wellness Month serves as a helpful reminder about the “healthy” financial habits we can build to manage money today and achieve our goals for the future.
Here are some ways you can celebrate Financial Wellness Month in 2024 and beyond:
• Track/Manage your expenses. Have you ever created a budget? And if so, did you stay within it? Even if you’ve never budgeted successfully in the past, try to make budgeting part of your plans for the new year. Simply review all your expenses and your income. Then, look for ways to cut costs and save more. Once you build your budget, track it each month and make adjustments as needed. Need help creating a budget? Join our Coffee with Class: New Year, New You – Budgeting for 2024 class on January 30th!
• Make saving part of your monthly budget. You never know the importance of having savings until you get surprised by an unexpected bill or event (such as a job loss). To help you save, have the funds direct deposited or automatically transferred to your savings account.
• Assess your short- and long-term goals. What are your financial goals for the new year and over the next few years? For example, if you want to buy a home, you’ll need to create a savings plan to help with the down payment. Also, consider your long-term plans like retirement. Are you contributing to your company’s retirement plan? Are you taking advantage of matching contributions if your company offers them?
• Stay on top of your credit. Credit is essential to helping you reach your financial goals. A good credit score will make it easier for you to qualify for a car loan or mortgage and can help you earn lower rates. To maintain a good credit score, always pay your bills on time, keep your balances to a minimum, and don’t open too many credit accounts. Monitoring your credit is easier than ever through Chelsea Groton’s Credit Score tool, available at no cost to customers who have registered for online banking. Learn how to enhance your credit score with our Lunch and Learn: Financially Fit class on January 23rd.
• Get rid of high-interest credit card debt. With soaring inflation, it’s very easy to use credit to pay for things you need. Remember that credit cards carry extraordinarily high interest rates on revolving balances. As part of your financial wellness, look closely at your debt and focus on paying it down.
• Build your financial literacy. The more you know about money, the easier it will be to save, borrow, and plan for the future. Take advantage of the Chelsea Groton Learning Hub, where you can register for free classes, access educational videos, review blog posts, and more, to help boost your financial know-how.
It’s never too late to improve your financial wellness. Launch into the new year by making your finances a priority!