Just as physical and mental fitness are important to healthy aging, so too is your financial well-being. Financial wellness is essential for anyone who wants to reach their financial goals and just like any goal, having financial stability and success requires the development of good financial habits. So, take a look at your budget, debt, retirement savings, investments, insurance and taxes, etc. and ask yourself -- are your finances healthy or could they use a checkup?
Use the following tips from Wellness Connect to help you get financially fit. When your finances are in check -- the rest of your life seems a lot more manageable.
1. Budget to Save Money
Make a realistic budget; financial wellness is based on living within your means. Spending money carefully and wisely will improve your financial health. If it helps, write down every expense from credit card bills, car payments, grocery receipts or any other document related to a purchase and find out exactly where your money is going. This can help you decide what you can afford within a certain time period.
2. Make Savings Automated
This should be your top priority, especially if you don’t have a solid emergency fund yet. Saving for retirement, children's education, emergencies or other expenses that can help protect you -- plus it delivers peace of mind. Many experts suggest putting at least 10% of your income into savings and some recommend saving as much as 25%. So, get in the habit of paying yourself first. Give savings the same importance as paying bills, and save something from each paycheck. This can help you develop solid saving habits that can be beneficial to you in reaching your long-term goals.
3. Control Your Impulse Spending
Impulse spending is the biggest problem for many of us. For you this may mean going out to eat with the family, getting that coffee before work, or going shopping with your friends. Whatever the case may be, this can lead to a big drain on your finances and a sure way to be in dire financial crisis. Only commit to things you can afford and don’t say yes to things just because you are invited. Remember that less is more!
4. Reduce Debt
Credit cards are usually the most expensive form of debt. If you’ve got credit cards, personal loans, or other such debt, start elimination those liabilities by making it a priority to pay down any high interest debt. Make a plan! You’ll save incredible amounts of cash by paying off credit card balances or other loans and you will improve your credit score each year by paying your bills on time. Sometimes getting out of debt can take several years, but it’s a very rewarding and necessary process.
Financial wellness is achievable –take control of your financial life and don’t give up! Your best and brightest financial days are still ahead of you!