Most people focus on fitness as their New Year’s resolution in the hopes of being able to live a longer and healthier life. And the longer we live, the more important our finances become—particularly when it comes to saving and not packing on a lot of debt. As you begin to put your healthy eating and exercise regimen into effect this year, consider adding a financial fitness plan to your resolutions as well.
This year, I’m making a plan to become more financially fit. It’ll help us to ease the expenses of the holidays, save for that vacation we are planning on taking, as well as just get us on track for the future.
Here are three helpful tips to get you started.
- Track everything you’re spending.
That means everything from your monthly bills to your mini purchases of that gas station soda or Starbucks coffee. This will allow you to see where all your money is going and where you can cut back. Maybe you’ll notice that your spending too much money on eating out or entertainment. You can do this with an online banking app that allows you to see everything you spend and track exactly where all your money is going. My husband and I noticed we were spending a lot of money on eating out and decided we were going to cut back on this by limiting ourselves to only eating out twice during the week which will help us save more money (plus it’s healthier too!)
- Create a budget and stick to it.
This needs to be kept realistic and within your means. Everyone’s finances are different so make sure you set a realistic goal that involves ways to save and cut back. My husband and I know we spend too much on unnecessary items so we’ve created a budget of cutting back on those purchases and automatically allocating money to a savings account. We are doing this by utilizing our RollUp Savings account with 1st Financial. This account allows us to automatically round up every debit card purchase we make and putting the extra funds into a savings account. This is simple and easy for us and it allows us to save money almost every day.
- Assess your accounts.
Sit down and look at all your accounts and credit cards and see if you are paying any unnecessary fees. I recently noticed that one of our checking accounts that my husband had started before we were married was charging us a monthly fee just to have a checking account with them. We quickly closed that account and started a free checking account instead. So, pullout those statements and see if you have anything that you can cut because those fees can add up quickly overtime.
As you continue to ramp up your fitness efforts this year, I hope you’ll consider making a financial fitness plan too. Getting started is half the battle. So, start off slowly by creating a plan and before you know it, you’ll build a financially healthy life, which in turn will have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being too.
If you need help getting started, 1st Financial has certified counselors hanging out, just waiting to give you some free advice.
Until next time,