5 Easy Financial Goals To Set In 2020
The beginning of the year is a time to evaluate the changes we’d like to make in our lives, then make plans to enact those changes. Most New Year goals are to improve our minds, bodies and spirit, but this leaves out an important part of the equation.
It can be easy to forget that our finances are often what makes these goals possible. When your financial life is in order, you can buy that gym membership to get in shape, pay a babysitter while you learn to play that instrument you’ve always been interested in, or book those tickets to the international destination on your bucket list.
With that in mind, we’ve put together 5 ideas for New Year financial changes that will make all your other goals much easier to accomplish in the years to come.
1) Use a Budgeting App
The beginning of financial responsibility and growth is knowing where your money goes! Have you been eating out a lot without realizing it? Spending more than you thought on entertainment?
Until recently, checking into questions like this required scrolling through and calculating dozens of charges for each month. Not anymore. Budgeting apps track where your money goes as you spend it, creating concise reports that make the whole process easy. There are several great options, depending on what exactly you want to do. Members of Fairmont FCU even have access to an easy budgeting tool within their online banking app.
2) Savings Challenge
There’s one sure way to end up with more money in the future: regularly save a little at a time. At Fairmont Federal Credit Union we’ve outlined three Savings Challenge ideas to show just how easy it can be to save hundreds (or even more than $,1300) in just a year’s time.
Our 365 Day Savings Challenge shows you how to start by saving one single cent your first day, with one cent increases daily. On the last day of the year, you will only put away $3.65 — less than many people spend on morning coffee. That may not sound like much, but when you’re finished, you will have saved $667.95 in one year!
Our two 52 Week Savings Challenges will show you how to end that same year with $707 or $1378, depending on how much you’re able to save each week.
3) Try Saving a Percentage of Your Income
Maybe the savings challenges aren’t for you. Here’s the easy alternative: Set aside a fixed percentage of your monthly paychecks. You can always choose the percentage that’s right for you, and no matter what it is, you will see savings.
4) Plan To Tackle One Debt
Want to be more financially independent and feel like you’re making progress this year? Pay off a debt! There are many ideas about how to do this, but whichever you choose, the principle is the same: one less debt is one step closer to financial independence.
One popular method of paying down debt is called the “snowball method”. The idea is to pay off your debts in order from smallest to largest. As each debt is paid off, the monthly payment is rolled over into the next smallest debt, and so on. Other financial experts suggest hammering away at whichever debt is costing you the most in interest (usually credit cards), even if it’s a larger debt that will take longer to pay.
Whichever method you choose, what debt could you reasonably expect to pay off by this date next year? If you know how much that debt is, try using our handy Savings Goal Calculator to figure out exactly how much you’ll need to save each month to pay it off.
5) Monitor Your Credit Score Monthly
Major purchases, home or apartment rentals, and loans often require a credit check. Understanding your score and how your actions affect it can be an important part of planning for the future, so we encourage you to get familiar with it.
Federal Law requires that you have access to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus — Equifax,TransUnion, and Experian. This link will allow you to request all three at once, but we suggest spreading out your reports over the course of a year so you can see any significant changes as they happen.
Fairmont FCU’s Priority Choice account offers a suite of ID Theft services to include 3-in-1 credit report, credit score, total identity monitoring, and many, many more.