A "Wellness Check" for Your Finances
Posted on July 10, 2019
By Coach Fin, Cinfed Financial Possibilities Team
The benefits of physical fitness are well known: when you stay in shape with exercise and a proper diet, you feel better and stay healthier. Similarly, you need to devote time and effort to experience the benefits of financial wellness.
Financial wellness can be defined as effectively managing your personal or family budget, and saving consistently while establishing economic stability. Financial wellness decreases stress and increases your self-esteem as you work toward achieving your goals.
It’s a long-term process, but here are some tips to jump-start your financial wellness so you can begin enjoying the benefits.
- Create a plan. Decide where you want to be with your finances and compare that to your current situation. A member of Cinfed’s Financial Possibilities Team can be a great resource to help you in organize and prioritize your goals. Determine the steps to reach your financial goals and assign a time period to achieve each one. For example, you want to go on a trip and know about what it will cost. How much do you have to save each month to pay for it? How does it fit into the rest of your bills and expenses? Track your progress and reward yourself periodically as you get closer to your goal.
- Automate savings. It’s easier to resist spending money if you never see it hit your checking account. Set up an automatic transfer each paycheck from your checking account to savings. Experts suggest accumulating six months’ worth of income for emergencies. It’s also wise to put about 10 percent of your income toward retirement.
- Carry cash. Swiping a credit or debit card can make spending money a little too easy. Pulling out dollars for each purchase forces you to be more aware of how much you’re spending. Take out only a set amount of money each week to help stay within your budget and cut down on impulsive spending.
- Improve your credit score. A poor credit score will hold you back financially, even if you’ve cultivated healthy budgeting and spending skills. Pay off lingering debts and be sure to pay off all new expenses promptly to improve your credit score. You may want to consider setting up automated bill pay, so you don’t accidentally miss payment dates.
- Build financial literacy. You can’t be financially well if you don’t know how to be. Start with the Cinfed Financial Education Center which has short, instructive segments on a variety of topics. Consider utilizing podcasts, books, articles, and shows that teach financial concepts. For additional insights, attend Skill Sessions at Cinfed - each one focuses on a specific topic that applies directly to your personal financial health.
Financial wellness is a marathon, not a sprint, and Cinfed is committed to helping members each step of the way. For more information, visit your nearest branch to meet with the Financial Possibilities Team!