New Year Finances

Your Financial Wellness in the New Year

As we look forward to the New Year, we are seeing a renewed interest in the basics of personal finance. It is a good time to focus on increasing and improving your financial stability. Here are four steps to consider:

1. Assess where you are at now. The BMI FCU Financial Fitness Self-Assessment is a short ten question tool that can help you with prioritizing your game plan for the coming year. Fill out your assessment today so you have all your goals, needs, and priorities on paper.

2. Make a spending plan. This past year left many folks sorting their monthly bills: those that had to be paid immediately, and those that could wait. A detailed review of your household spending patterns can help you create a plan for the New Year. What is the amount you need to cover your essential living costs every month? Knowing this number can help you decide what money is left to be directed towards savings, debt reduction, and other goals. Reviewing transactions on debit and credit card accounts can also be helpful. Financial Wellness Tool is a free digital money management tool available to BMI FCU members. This program can track and sort your transactions and allows you to set monthly spending limits for specific categories.

3. Manage your debt. If you have debt, a review of your current situation can help you make the best plan to pay it down. Now is a good time to look into ways to lower your payments and save money by consolidating, refinancing, or transferring balances to lower interest rate options. A conversation with a Loan Officer or a Certified Financial Coach at the credit union can help you know what options to consider. 

4. Plan to save. The best way to get started is to consider putting a small amount in your savings account every payday. Setting up a partial direct deposit or a recurring transfer from your checking account to your savings account is the key to success. As your situation improves you can increase the amount going towards your savings goals. You may find it helpful to open a separate account dedicated to a specific savings goal. You can open a savings account online or schedule a recurring transfer to an existing BMI FCU account through online banking or by calling 614.707.4000.

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For more articles like this and to learn more about how the BMI Federal Credit Union Financial Education Program, subscribe to our Financial Education Newsletter. Our Financial Education Program supports your efforts to maintain and improve your financial wellness in 2021. All Financial Education and Coaching is free of charge.