Financial Wellness refers to the process of learning how to successfully manage and secure the health of your financial life, now and in the future. The start of a new year is a good time to review your current financial situation and make plans to improve your financial wellness. Here are some tips for 2020.
Go Over Your Spending Plan
The first step is 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 probably want to adjust your budget. If you want to increase the amount you put towards paying off debt or bolstering your savings, try to reduce expenses. To cut costs, review your bills. Make sure you are paying the right amount. 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.
Create an Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund is a smart idea when it comes to financial wellness. The goal is to have enough available funds to get you and your family through possible unemployment, injury or other unforeseen events that may happen in your life. To build an emergency fund 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 get started on an emergency fund is to use your tax refund to get it going.
Automate Your Finances
An easy way to make sure your money is going to the right places is to automate your money. Doing so can help you make sure your bills and other expenses are properly accounted for. Try some of these options.
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.
Automate Your Bills
To help ensure you pay your bills on time, set up automatic payments for your mortgage, utilities, cable, memberships, subscriptions, and other services. This helps you worry less about forgetting to make a payment.
Create an Estate Plan
Part of financial wellness includes getting your estate in order. Put a checklist together to help you organize.
- Make a will
- Make health care directive
- Protect your child’s inheritance if you plan to leave them something in your will
- Plan out who you want to name as a beneficiary and see what steps need to be taken to make it official
- Look into funeral expenses
- Communication and think through your final arrangements
- Store your documents in an organized structure
Don’t be Afraid to Get Help if You Need it
Sometimes you can only go so far on your own. If you feel that you need some additional help, don’t be afraid to seek it. Think about where you want your finances to be for you to feel like you’ve achieved financial wellness. From there, research financial professionals in your area. Weigh your options and then move forward when you are comfortable.
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.