It’s Time for Your Financial Health Checkup!
When it comes to financial goals and planning, it’s important to engage in occasional financial health checkups. Like going to the doctor for a physical, going over your financial situation and determining its “health” is a great way to stay on track to achieve your goals. Since we’ve just started a new year—and tax season is on the way—this is a smart time to do some financial planning.
Here’s a closer look at how to check your financial health.
General overview and preparation
Checking on your financial health starts with gathering your financial information. Make lists of all your bank accounts, retirement accounts, assets, debts, life insurance plans, monthly budgets, expected expenses and more. This will give you a sense of what’s under control and what’s lacking. For example, if you don’t have a retirement plan, that’s an obvious goal to tackle.
After you’ve pulled together a general overview of your financial health, think about the other goals you’d like to achieve. Whether you’re saving for a home or sending your kids to college, now is a good time to consider where you’d like to be by your next “checkup.”
Now that you have the current situation and your financial goals in mind, it’s time to delve into the details:
- Set realistic goals: Retirement savings and down payments don’t come out of nowhere, unless you’re lucky enough to win the lottery. Make realistic goals for your financial future, both big and small. Whether your main goal is to pay off your credit cards or buy a new house, goal setting is the first step to getting there.
- Plan for relief programs to end: Most, if not all COVID-19 government relief programs are set to end this year. How will your financial situation be affected? Do you need to reconfigure your budget or downsize in some areas? Plan to resume expenses like student loan payments, and figure out how that fits into your budget.
- Make a plan to pay down debt: From credit cards to mortgages, debt can hang over our heads. With the new changes coming, will you be able to stay on track to pay down your debt? If not, a new plan is necessary.
- Check the numbers: Next, start looking at the numbers: evaluate your budget to make sure recent price increases haven’t affected how much you’re spending. Look at your credit score to ensure you’re still in good standing (and fix any issues that may have arisen). Verify the status of your checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts to see if there are any discrepancies.
- Prioritize appropriately: Once you have a full financial picture, take the time to prioritize your expenses. See where you can make room in your budget to pay down debt, so you can enjoy healthier finances sooner.
OUR Credit Union can help you achieve your financial goals with effective planning assistance. Call or stop by today to talk about our services, from checking and savings accounts to taking out lines of credit.
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