January 5, 2022
With the new year approaching, we have a chance to reflect on the past year and the decisions that led us to where we are today. It gives us a chance to reevaluate our goals and set new ones that can help make progress towards financial stability. Remember, it’s not easy to keep a new resolution, so be proud of small steps in the right direction.
If you are not already living on a budget, now is the perfect opportunity to begin. Maintaining a budget is a starting point to develop emergency savings, invest for the future, or make expensive purchases without going into debt. Use online budgeting apps to track your savings or start your own spreadsheet for the new year. It is important to have a flexible mindset that is focused on growth, since you may not meet all of your goals right away. Small improvements can go a long way!
After your budget review, think of your spending choices for housing, food, and insurance. Double check your spending for the past year in your credit card statements and see what you can improve on in 2022. If you ate out less, what could you put those savings toward instead? Review your online subscriptions and decide if they are still needed. It is easy to subscribe to a 30-day free trial and forget that it will charge you later on. Benefit from spending money by taking advantage of a credit card rewards program. Remember to use your rewards points before their expiration date, and try not to carry a balance or the interest payments could cancel out any benefits from rewards.
Look out for your future with long-term investments. Now is also a great time to maximize your employment benefits; are you on the best insurance plan for your needs? Are you taking advantage of your retirement 401k plan? Buying health, life and disability insurance is a good way to prepare for the unexpected and protect your savings. If you already have an investment portfolio, reassess your holdings to make sure they are still matching your long-term goals, risk tolerance, and time frame. Want to begin investing? Visit your local Citizens First Bank for advice on your next steps and options for savings accounts.
Make sure to prepare for the unexpected crisis or loss of a job by contributing to an emergency savings fund every paycheck. It’s a good idea to have enough saved to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. Making a financial cushion can help you avoid debt in the future. As a rule, around 10-30% of your paycheck should be taken aside to contribute to savings.
Having control of your money can lead to more informed decisions and increased peace of mind. For more budgeting and financial resources visit your local Citizens First Bank in person or online. Our experienced team can help find the right strategy for you to save in 2022.