Testing Your Financial Fitness
It's January, and you know what that means: everyone is talking about fitness goals for the new year! But financial fitness is important, too, and it means something different for everybody. Financial fitness means the accounts and financial tools you use are the best for your situation, here and now. It means you’re mindful of your spending and saving habits, whatever that means for you personally.
The start of a new year is a great time to take a look at your financial fitness, and here are six tips to get you started.
- Assess your financial goals and necessities for the year. Do you want to save money? How much would you like to put aside per month? On the other hand, maybe it’s time to get a new car, or you’re ready to move out of your apartment and into a new house. Make a list of everything you think may be on the horizon.
- Check your statements for unnecessary costs. Do you really use all those streaming services? Are you getting the best price for your utilities? Maybe there’s a “free trial” out there that started charging you because you never canceled it. Review your account and credit card statements at least once a year to make sure you actually use everything you’re paying for.
- Do the same with your budget, and if you don’t have a budget, now’s the time to make one! Take the time to really look at your expenses and come up with a budget that is achievable for you. Remember that even small changes to your spending habits can have big effects over time.
- Review Your Credit Report. Checking in on your credit report not only allows you to see what your score is, but it also allows you to make sure no one has stolen your identity and opened an account in your name. You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to pull and review your credit report!
- Make sure you’re still in the account that’s the best fit for you. Your financial institution likely offers multiple kinds of accounts and products. What was the perfect fit for you when you first opened your account right out of college might not be the best fit for you now as you buy your first home, have children, or near retirement. Take some time to reach out to your financial institution to review your options.
- Refresh your knowledge on what financial apps and programs are available to you. From budgeting to debit card management, there are many tools to help you manage your money! Make sure you’re using the tools that are the best fit for you and best optimize your ability to hit your goals.
Here's to a great and financially fit new year!