The beginning of the year is the prime time to focus on what’s going on with your money. With the right plan in place, you can stick to your financial resolutions and end the coming year in a better place than you started it. Although many of us make our New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight or learning a new hobby, it is important that we also remember to keep our financial posture fit, as well. The start of the year offers the opportunity to focus on what’s going on with your money. By creating a strong financial plan and sticking to it, you will be more likely to fulfill your other resolutions, such as traveling more (we hope), paying off your credit or student debt, purchasing a new car, or even a house! Being financially fit is a strong component to making other parts of your life easier, so don’t forget to make financial New Year’s resolutions.
To get your finances on the right path in 2022 here are 8 financial goals you should consider to set yourself up for success.
1. Get Your Credit in Check
First, plan to get your credit in check. Get a handle on what your credit score is and the factors that are affecting it. If your credit score ends up being lower than you would like it to be, begin taking steps to improve it, such as paying off debt and keeping the balances on your credit cards low. With UKRFCUs new Credit Score feature, you can do that for free as many times as you want all from your Online Banking account when at home or on the go with our UKRFCU Mobile App!
2. Get Your Taxes Done Early
Like it or not, tax season comes up quickly. Each year, thousands make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to get all of their necessary documents together. Make life easier for yourself and gather all the needed tax documents as quickly as possible.
3. Set a Budget
Regardless of whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or have plenty of money left that you funnel into savings, setting a budget is still essential. Tracking your spending is a useful tool to help you understand where your money goes. Budgets help set parameters for what you can afford to spend and help you identify areas where you can cut back. Start budgeting now with the help of UKRFCU.
UKRFCU App – Money Management (within your Online Banking) – Money Management is a service that provides a visualization of spending over time divided into categories. See all your accounts, including those with other financial institutions. Bubbles help you understand the relative health of your budgets instantly. Every transaction is automatically categorized so you can spend smarter. For more information, click here.
4. Make a Savings Goal for Yourself
Once you’ve set a budget, it’s time to set a savings goal for this year. Obviously, your savings goal should be attainable, but it should also be as large as you can manage.
Remember, the more you save now, the more that money will multiply or compound as time goes on. It’s also important to note that once you’ve set a savings goal and divided out how much money you need to put aside from each paycheck to reach that goal, you should put that money aside first and foremost.
If your savings are the first part of your budget you pay, they’ll be much less likely to get left out.
5. Pay Off Bad Debts
Whether you are paying off your student loans, credit cards, or other debt, you are not alone. If you have student loans, consider refinancing them. If you have credit card debt, consider consolidating it with a better balance transfer credit card. We offer credit cards with lower rates, limited fees, and more rewards.
Remember that it is not wise to pay only the minimum amount due. Paying off the balance in full every month or paying more than the minimum amount can help establish a good credit rating. Read more about paying off credit cards by clicking here.
Read more about Debt Consolidation Options and the pros and cons of it. This option may work for some people to help pay off debt. Debt consolidation loans are typically used for unsecured debts, for example, personal loans, credit cards, and student loans. Instead of dealing with multiple bills, you have the ability to manage one consolidated bill.
6. Research New Companies to Invest In, and think about Investment Properties
Take some time to research companies to invest in. Using the principles of Rule #1 investing to find great companies to invest in takes a little time and patience.
While you will have plenty of opportunities to buy great companies at a great price, it still isn’t extremely often that the market puts high-value companies on sale. This makes it important to start now on researching the companies that you would like to invest in so that when these companies do go on sale you’ll be ready.
2022 might just be an amazing year to get amazing deals on wonderful companies that you wouldn’t be able to get any other time. That’s why saving and getting your finances in order is so important. When the market plummets, we want to be ready to take advantage of the fire sale on wonderful companies.
Members can also begin investing in property with UKRFCU’s Commercial loans. You can count on us for competitive rates and outstanding service. Commercial Loan options include:
- 1 to 4 residential units
- 1 to 12 unit apartment buildings
- Retail space
- Mixed-use properties
- Office space
UKRFCU provides financing for the purchase or refinances of properties in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, southern New York, and Washington, D.C. Your success is our bottom line. To learn more about UKRFCU Commercial Loans, click here.
Invest at UKRFCU with our regular Share Certificates or IRA Share Certificates, and Money Market accounts to accomplish your savings goals faster. You can start saving today and enjoy it later.
7. Evaluate Needs v. Wants
Needs v. wants is something we learned about in Economics class. Do you really need something or is it simply a want? If you can answer the question with “I don’t need it to survive,” then it is a want. Being able to distinguish between needs and wants is crucial for putting a budget to help meet your New Year’s resolutions and financial goals. Some small things you can do without even realizing it is:
- Get healthy without joining a gym. Try doing exercise videos online, jogging in the park, or taking a walk around the block. Click here to see the best workout apps.
- Pack a lunch. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends approximately $3,365 on food outside of the home each year, which is $280 per month. Although you are craving the yummy food near your work or college, it adds up. Save money by cooking at home and packing a lunch.
- Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships. You don’t need a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. If you really need a video streaming service, pick one. If can survive without it, watch TV cable instead.
8. Plan for the Unexpected
No matter how well you plan in advance or how great things are going, bad things can happen. Set up an emergency fund for those events that can, but hopefully won’t happen. Financial planners recommend that emergency funds should typically have three to six months of living expenses. A few important reasons why you should have an emergency fund is in case of job loss, medical bills, and home or auto repairs. Plan for the unexpected by clicking here.