The start of a new year is a good time to review your current financial situation and take steps to successfully manage and secure the health of your financial life, now and in the future. This process is known as financial wellness. Here are some ways to achieve it.
Before you can get on the path toward financial wellness, you’ll probably want to track your spending and see where your money is actually going. You may be surprised. If you’re spending more than you take home you’ll need to immediately adjust your budget. To cut costs, review your bills. Make sure you are paying the right amount. Call service providers to go over your bills and see if you can negotiate better ones. Not happy with the services you have? Look for alternate options. You can also cut back on spending by eating dinners at home and taking lunches to work instead of eating out at restaurants.
Emergency Fund Planning
The goal of emergency fund planning is to have enough available funds to get you and your family through possible unemployment, injury or other or unforeseen event that may happen in your life. Start by setting a monthly savings goal to get you into the habit of saving regularly. If money is tight, you may have to revisit your budget to see where you might be able to cut expenses to make room. One good way to jump start an emergency fund is to use your tax refund.
To achieve financial wellness, the most important goal is to spend less than you earn. An easy way to make sure your money is going to the right places is to automate your savings.
Automate Your Bills
To ensure you pay your bills on time, set up automatic payments for your mortgage, utilities, cable, memberships, subscriptions and other services. This will help eliminate worry over whether you paid a bill or not.
Deposit Money Directly to Savings
Automated deposits take money directly from your paycheck and put it into a bank account. Typically this is your checking account, but you may be able to split the deposits to multiple accounts. Talk to your employer and see if the company offers direct deposit options. If they don’t offer a split service, set up a recurrent transfer via your bank.
Part of financial wellness includes getting your estate in order. Put a checklist together to help you organize. Some things you may want to do are
- Make health care directives
- Plan a will
- Protect your children’s inheritance if you plan to pass anything on to them
- File beneficiary forms
- Store your important documents in an organized fashion
- Plan for funeral expenses
- Make other final arrangements
Ask for Help
Not sure how to get on the path to financial wellness? You may want to consider working with a financial professional, Research professionals that are near you. Think about what questions you have, what you need help with, and when you feel ready move forward with connecting to the professional of your choice.
The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.