The new year will be here before you know it and for many of us that means resolutions of a healthier lifestyle and eating less cake (or whatever your go-to comfort food may be). If your goals for 2022 include decreasing stress, living better and finding a good work-life balance, you may be overlooking one important way to do just that. Your finances. Just like you, your finances need regular health check-ups and a wellness plan.
In fact, a recent FINRA study found that
60% of respondents felt anxious when thinking about their personal finances, while 50% indicated feeling stressed when discussing their finances.
If you find yourself in one of those categories, or even if you think your finances are in good order, a financial health check-up is just what the doctor ordered. Regular review and maintenance of your finances and budget can increase your financial well-being.
Like with any fitness regime, getting started is the hardest part. Luckily, we’ve got a few simple steps to get you started.
Prioritize your spending
Creating a budget is the first step in reviving your financial health. Make sure you’re prioritizing your household needs over wants. And before you buy that new trinket you’ve had your eye on, double check your savings account. Experts recommended investing 20% of your gross income into savings. Emergencies happen, if you dip into your savings make sure you adjust your budget so that you can replenish it as quickly as possible.
Monitor your credit card health
Get to know your credit score. If you find that your credit history needs some reputation management there are a few things you can do to boost your rating, including:
- Paying off or consolidating balances
- Ditching any credit cards that you don’t need or aren’t using
- Check your interest rates, make sure you’re buying smart and paying as little interest as possible
- Don’t be late, late payments come with fees and can impact your credit score
- Regularly review your credit report with Experian, Transunion and Equifax
Pro Tip: You are allowed one free credit report from each credit bureau per year. Stagger your requests and you can get one report every four months.
Invest in your future
A budget and savings are components of your financial portfolio, but chances are, they won’t be enough to give you the long-term financial stability you’ll need for retirement. Do your research or meet with a financial advisor to better understand what financial investments can help you live your best life through retirement.
Improving your financial health can reduce stress and anxiety. It can also give you the peace of mind needed to focus on finding balance in your everyday life. Follow us on Twitter for more financial tips and advice.