By now, most people have made their resolutions for self-improvement in the new year. While the most popular resolutions tend to focus on physical health, the start of a new year is also a perfect time to prioritize your financial wellness.
Ready to get started? Read on.
1. Make a budget and stick to it.
Budgeting is one of the most effective ways to manage your money
. Creating and monitoring a budget allows you to track your expenses, adapt to changes, and achieve your financial milestones. Budgeting can also help you save for emergencies and plan for the long run - including retirement.
Use an online budget building tool to break your budget down into simple, easy steps and get started
2. Build your emergency savings.
Unexpected expenses happen more often than we like to think. According to a 2018 Bankrate study
, less than half of Americans are not financially prepared to cover the expenses that come with emergencies, such as illness, job loss or even home and auto repairs.
Get more information on the immediate steps you can take this year to start and grow your savings.
3. Plan for retirement now.
Less than half of Americans take the steps needed to set themselves up for a secure retirement
. While saving for the future is easy to put off in favor of more immediate needs, the earlier you start, the more opportunity you'll have to grow your savings over time.
There's no better time than now to start planning for retirement. Learn about options, like IRAs and 401(k) plans, with our free retirement education.
4. Get ahead of your taxes.
Taxes are confusing, any many people get bogged down by complex terms and lengthy paperwork. However, doing your taxes doesn't need to be a source of anxiety. In fact, getting ahead of your taxes
can reap many benefits, including lowering stress and having early access to a refund for year-long planning.
Make filing your taxes a breeze with tips from our 5 minute interactive learning module.
5. Take control of your credit.
Your credit score can have significant impacts on your financial security and flexibility. Yet, many people have never had the opportunity to learn what a credit score is, what factors impact a credit score, and what actions they can take to make sure their score is healthy.
Take a few minutes to understand the factors that impact your credit score
and you'll be well on your way to building a more secure financial future.
The information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither Cortland Bank or its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering you any tax, accounting or legal advice.
This article was developed as part of Cortland Bank’s partnership with EVERFI, Inc.