Stay Financially Fit in This New Year
It’s the time of year for New Years resolutions. While being physically fit tends to be one of the popular resolutions, being financially fit is just as important for peace of mind. Check out these 6 tips of how to get and stay financially fit in 2023.
- Create a budget & track your spending
Tracking your spending is a great way to create a realistic budget for yourself and to help you save money. Pick the best budgeting method for you – whether it’s old fashion pencil and paper, an Excel spreadsheet or an online tool. Online tools like our Money Manager or apps like Qapital or Mint that can assist you in setting goals, creating a budget, and track your spending.
- Check your credit report & know your credit score
Even if you’re not thinking about getting a loan now, check your credit report yearly. It can take a while to clear up any errors or lift your score. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus yearly. Get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com, you can also pay for your credit score.
Knowing your credit score is crucial. Having a good credit score affects the loans and rates you qualify for – the lower the rate the less your loan will cost you over time.
- Consolidate debt
Review the rates you are currently paying on loans and credit card balances, and compare with DECU’s rates to see if we can help you save by transferring balances.
- Set monthly goals
After you have budgeted your needs and savings, think about what you want – a new car, a vacation, or a night out with friends. Decide how much you need for each goal and then set aside that money monthly.
- Increase your savings
Even a small increase of your automatic deposits can make a big difference over time. Setting aside a certain amount of money for emergencies or unexpected purchases can help prepare your bank account if the unexpected does happen. You can also avoid holiday debt next year by opening or increasing your Christmas Club savings now.
- Invest in long term savings
Open a high-yield savings account such as a Savings Certificate or a Money Market account, these accounts typically require a bigger deposit balance than regular savings but pay higher interest rates which will give you more money over time.
If you have investment accounts like an IRA, 401K, or stocks, take time to check that your allocations and goals still align. You may find that you need to adjust your strategies to better fit your age and goals.