New Year’s resolutions are a mixed bag for many. On the one hand: personal betterment! On the other hand: methodical auditing of our refrigerator, checking account, and various vices. As the new year beings, most of us feel compelled to immediately transform our lives for the better. This is especially true when it comes to financial goals.
If you want a few financial resolutions that you can achieve into the new year, here are some suggestions from our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness.
Automate. Automate. Automate.
Life is expensive! Especially when you have your sights set on a vacation, home renovation, or even the creation of an Emergency Fund (which 26% of Americans report not having at all). Setting aside savings is a crucial step towards your financial health.
There are multiple pathways to save, from automating contributions to an investment portfolio to downloading an app that bundles spare change on each transaction you make. If you want to avoid market fluctuations and go the straightforward route, set up an automatic direct deposit that funnels a percentage of your paycheck into a designated savings account. Then try not to touch it.
Enroll in a 401(k).
Speaking of savings and automation…if your employer does not automatically enroll you in a 401(k) plan, you can sign up yourself. Unlike some company benefits (like flexible spending accounts or insurance enrollments that have deadlines), you can enroll in a 401(k) plan anytime during the year. So why not now? The sooner you can begin growing your retirement savings, the better. If you earn income but don’t receive employer benefits, you can open a Traditional or Roth IRA as an alternative.
The average American underestimates their monthly subscriptions costs by $133 according to a 2022 survey conducted by C+R Research. People estimated they spent about $86 per month when in fact, they were spending about $219 per month! The start of a new year is a good time to take inventory of your streaming networks, music subscriptions, smartphone apps, wine club memberships, or any other miscellaneous expenses that might be drawing away from your overall savings goals.
Check your credit report.
You can get a free report once a year from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.) This allows you to resolve errors or instances of identity theft—red flags you do not want creditors looking at when they are evaluating your application for loans and credit cards. With the exception of Experian, you will have to pay a fee if you want to see your credit score. There is often a way around this, as more than 170 financial institutions and 10 of the top credit card issuers provide free access to your FICO score (the most commonly used type of credit score). Now Nymeo members can access their credit score anytime without negatively impacting their score – for free. Credit scores can be accessed through Nymeo online banking. More information here.
Category: Credit & Budgeting