January is Financial Wellness Month
January 12th, 2016 by Bunch & Brock
Lose weight. Quit smoking. Get organized. Save money. Manage debt. These are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions – and some of the most commonly broken. It is thought that the custom of making resolutions started with the ancient Babylonians who made promises to the gods in hopes of being rewarded with good favor in the upcoming year. Paying their debts was a frequent promise. Not much has changed in 4,000 years, with statistics suggesting that 34 percent of the resolutions made for 2015 were money-related. To aide you on your financial fresh start, January has been designated as National Financial Wellness Month.
Tending to your finances can have a big impact on your long-term happiness. Start by evaluating your financial situation over the previous year. Try to keep your emotions out of it by not getting frustrated if it was a bad year or overconfident if it was a good one. You don’t want to talk yourself out of giving up or start spending as if your fortune can’t reverse. Think about what you need to plan for: credit card debt, business opportunities, buying a house, student loan debt, children’s college funds, etc. Then, set a goal for what you need to save for the whole year based on what you can reasonably afford each month. A long-term goal is often easier to reach than a short-term one because if you miss a month, you can make up for it in another month. Seeing your savings grow will also give you positive reinforcement that will help you stick to your plan.
Other tips for achieving financial wellness include:
- Be aware of how you spend your money. Know where it goes and find areas where you can convert it into savings.
- Develop a budget and live within your means based on your income.
- Treat your savings account like a bill and make a monthly payment to it.
- No matter what else you are saving for, save for retirement.
- Use your credit wisely and ensure your credit reports are accurate. You can check your three credit reports for free once a year.
- Seek tax advice from a professional. The rules change quickly and often. Make sure you aren’t missing anything that could help.
While January is a good time to raise awareness of the importance of financial issues, your money requires your attention all year long. At Bunch & Brock, we know it can be hard to get out of debt and even harder to save, but with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Kentucky, we have helped many people develop the best plan for their situation. To get started, or if you have any questions about this topic, call us at 859-254-5522 or fill out this online form.