The actions you take today, and over the next few months, can have large impacts on your financial wellness (and maybe even your tax bill in April). With the start of a new year, it’s a great time to take a financial inventory, set goals, and determine what you need to get there. At Financial Fitness for Life, we’ve put together a financial checklist to further ensure your financial life is organized and primed for success as we kick off the new year.
- Review all your accounts (banking, investment, retirement, medical/insurance, etc.). Do you know your login credentials?
- Do you have beneficiaries designated?
- You never know when you may need to access to the information on any of these. Be sure to know them and download their apps!
- Review your spending habits, do you have a budget?
- If yes, think about where your money is going and why. Are you on track to reach your long-term goals? Can any adjustments be made to it?
- If the answer is no, use this easy budget template to get started.
- We understand that “life happens”, which is why it is important to have a budget that can be flexible, but don’t disregard it completely!
Credit Report Review:
- You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company.
- Ensure that the information on your credit report is correct and up to date; reports may affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, apartment requests, and even job applications.
- Reviewing your credit report will help you catch signs of identity theft too, be sure to run an antivirus scan on your computer and phone!
- Ignore the noise and keep composure. Ask yourself: “Where am I on my financial journey, and what do I want out of it?”
- Think of your own time horizon and keep that in perspective, so that you can plan and take action to reach your long-term goals!
- Turn any fears you may have into motivation for something positive!
- Grow your knowledge by reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, or joining one of our webinars. Spend more time with your loved ones, review your own financial wellness!
Take a moment and reflect on the past year. How are you feeling emotionally? Financially? Are you confident, worried, excited, or maybe just uncertain of what’s next? Going through this checklist is an important exercise to help you better understand your own financial journey; what did you do well this year, and what can you improve on for next year? Everyone may be at a different point on their journey, and they may have differing views. Nonetheless the starting point is knowing your own goals, identifying if you are on track to reach them, and having confidence that you will reach them. The process of sticking to your plan and consistently thinking about the long term will grow your financial confidence, knowing that you will get to where you need to be, you just need time to get there, and to do so, you must stay the course! Here’s to a year behind us, and to championing our financial success in 2023. Reflect on your financial wellness, have a plan for 2023, and stay the course!
Financial Fitness Consultant