Now that the hustle and bustle, and spending of the holiday season has passed, now is the time to slow down and prepare our finances for the new year.
January is National Financial wellness month—a time to remind us to pay closer attention to our financial wellbeing.
The term finance means money. However, its definition also includes how you earn money and how you spend that money. Financial wellness is all about your relationship with money and how secure it is, regardless of the variables that could affect your future.
Some of the areas many people need financial support are:
- Saving for retirement
- Paying off debts
- Healthcare expenses
One of the primary missions of credit unions is to improve members’ financial lives by offering low-cost financial products and services to help manage money, affordable borrowing options, and savings products to plan for their future.
Tips to Improve your Financial Health
- The New Year is a good time to create a financial plan. Write down all your fixed and flexible expenses, your projected earnings, your plan for savings, and investments for the year. This gives you a snapshot of your finances for the entire year and helps prioritize your financial health.
- Create a budget to manage debt and live within your means. Getting a handle on your finances is the first step to overcoming financial challenges and reducing stress and anxiety caused by debt.
- Talk with your credit union or a financial planner for advice on how to get out of debt. For some, consolidating all the debt into one low-interest rate loan can help pay it off faster. Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union has low-rate personal loan options to help you pay down debt. Another strategy, the Debt Avalanche, entails paying extra on the smallest loan or credit card while paying the minimums on other debts to eliminate it before moving on to the larger debts with the same strategy.
- Once you begin to make progress reducing debt and living within your means you’ll be on a path to financial stability. If you stick with your plans and budget, you’ll be better prepared for unexpected emergencies. Then you can make strides towards your goals whether that’s buying a home or new vehicle, taking a vacation, or saving for retirement.