Small Changes for Improving Your Financial Health during 2021
Now is a great time to look at our everyday habits – whether those habits relate to our health and fitness or our money habits as we manage many financial challenges.
A habit is a routine behavior that gets repeated regularly and tends to occur without much conscious thought. Many of us already have healthy habits that we do by routine – like brushing our teeth or washing our hands. You might also have healthy money habits. For example, carefully reviewing your credit card statements each month could be a habit you already have in place. As this year continues to move forward, there may be opportunities to reinforce healthy money habits that already work for you and create new habits like writing down financial goals or building savings.
Make It a Habit
Building positive money habits can affect your entire wellbeing. Here are a few ideas to try this year.
- Make a Goal and Write It Down – Goal-setting gives you direction. You can decide on your destination and make a plan to get there. This action might seem small, but it’s not. Make it a habit to look at monthly finances and jot down one or two goals. The goal could be taking a bite out of your credit card balances or setting aside a small amount each month for a large purchase.
- Make it Automatic – You likely have many of your outgoing bills set to pay automatically through bill pay, which is a positive money habit. Setting up bill pay on monthly utilities, cable, and other bills helps ensure bills get paid on time. Consider setting up “auto save” as well. Setting up automatic transfers or using direct deposit for your paycheck to automatically place funds in your savings account can help you save for a big purchase or grow your savings fund.
- Spend with Care – Mindful spending is a powerful financial habit to build. If you don’t already have one, make a habit of using a monthly spending or budgeting plan. You’ll learn how much money you have to work with, the amount that is going out each month for bills and expenses, what you need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can devote to your goal from each paycheck.
- Deal with Debt – Think about your habits when using your credit card and when considering your total debt situation. Are most of your purchases made with consumer credit cards? What are your current credit card balances and other debt balances? Listing out all your monthly debt payments helps you stay aware and act if needed. If you are in the habit of only making minimum payments on your credit card balances or if you’re experiencing collection calls, consider learning about how a Debt Management Plan can get help create healthy money habits.
- Celebrate Your Progress – As we noted, you likely have many positive habits already. That’s something to be proud of, as you can apply those lessons to build new money habits. Make it simple. Tackle one habit at a time and celebrate your wins. 2021 is sure to be a success when you tackle one habit at a time and make it work for you.
No matter your goals, Allied Healthcare Federal Credit Union and our partners at GreenPath can help you take control of your day-to-day financial choices to create more opportunities for achieving your dreams. You can connect with a GreenPath counselor today at 877-337-3399 or building healthy financial habits here: https://www.greenpath.com/redesign-financial-habits/.