10 Tips to Develop Financial Wellness This Year

Bill Harwood |

Financial wellness is a state of being when one is in control of their finances, can cover expenses, and save for future goals. Consider financial wellness as your relationship with money; it can be either healthy or unhealthy. Financial wellness is essential to being financially secure and meeting your goals. Here are ten tips to help you develop financial wellness this year:

Tip #1- Check that your income and spending are in balance. You must be aware of your spending patterns, limit your use of credit, and be mindful of not spending more than you make. Review your online banking, bill payments, and credit card statements to ensure you're not overspending.

Tip #2- Develop a monthly budget. A monthly budget helps you track exactly where your money is going so you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck due to overspending. Budgeting can help you save for retirement and create a plan to pay off debt. A budget can also help you learn to live without wants because you can see where your hard-earned dollars are going.

Tip #3- Save money to cover unforeseen emergencies. Ideally, save three to six months of living expenses in an emergency savings account. Once you reach six months of emergency savings, continue saving in your emergency fund until you reach another milestone, such as one year of living expenses.

Tip #4- Consistently save for retirement and other goals. Invest in yourself by automating your monthly 401(k), IRA, or Roth IRA retirement savings contributions. Save for different purposes through automatic savings account contributions through payroll or other bank apps into an account set up for a specific financial goal.

Tip #5- Discuss significant financial decisions with others. Before making financial decisions or purchasing big-ticket items, discuss the pros and cons of your decision with others before spending. Discussion can help determine if the financial decision aligns with your budget and goals.

Tip #6- Regularly monitor and adjust your financial plan. You should have a written financial plan that aligns with your goals and timeline. Self-monitor your progress toward your goals and adjust your financial plan as necessary as your life changes. 

Tip #7- Educate yourself. Financial literacy is the confluence of the economic, credit, and debt management knowledge necessary to make financially responsible decisions that are integral to our everyday lives. The more you know about personal finance, the more likely you are to make comprehensive financial decisions.

 Tip #8- Work with a financial professional. Working with a financial professional can help you determine strategies appropriate for your goals, risk, and timeline. They can also help you develop a budget, create a financial plan, save for your child’s education, and keep you on track toward your goals.

Tip #9- Don’t let your emotions impact your financial decisions. Weighing out the pros and cons of financial decisions before making a final decision is essential to financial wellness. When it comes to investing, emotions can be tricky since investors don’t always make rational decisions, according to the CFA Institute. Financial decisions require evidence and reasoning to make the most thoughtful choice so that you don’t regret your decisions later.

Tip #10- Save money in small ways. Look for discounts, promos, and coupons on items you regularly buy. Also, consider negotiating a reduced price for memberships and subscriptions such as internet, gym, and streaming channel services.

Financial wellness is essential for many reasons since it can impact your mental and physical health and overall quality of life. By improving your financial wellness, you can build wealth for a more financially secure future.

Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations, nor is it intended to provide any specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.

Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal.  Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.

The Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Withdrawals from the account may be tax free, as long as they are considered qualified. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Future tax laws can change at any time and may impact the benefits of Roth IRAs. Their tax treatment may change.

This article was prepared by Fresh Finance.

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