Our BetterU sponsor CAP COM Federal Credit Union has some tips to help women get through the holiday season.
As we all race through these days of holiday preparation and celebration, I know that your own needs are the last thing on your mind. Taking care of others (and everything else) is what we ladies do.
So, I’m not even going to try and tell you to take some time out to relax during this crazy time. Keep pressing through! You are almost to the finish line.
However, when you finally do put up your feet, indulge in something sweet and make your New Year’s resolutions, add one to your list. Along with that renewed focus on your physical health, consider taking the time to evaluate your financial wellness, too.
- Reflect on what worked last year and also what did not. What broke your bank and, also, what worked well? Understanding where your money went over the last year can help you budget more accurately for the year ahead.
- Make a plan, even if you generally fly by the seat of your pants. What changes do you want to make in the coming year when it comes to your wallet? If there is a special purchase you want to make or a trip you’d like to take, know what it will cost and break it into smaller savings increments that make sense.
- Declutter. Your house, your expenses, your life. What do you really need to be happy? If you are overcommitted, think about taking a step back. If you are spending money on television channels you don’t watch, stop.
- Make a dent in your debt. This may feel like the most overwhelming thing on your list. But, like anything that feels overwhelming, just take it one step at a time. Making at least the minimum payment on your loans and credit cards is what keeps you out of trouble when it comes to your credit. To pay it off faster, you have to hit it a little harder, but you don’t have to tackle it all at once. Choose one debt you can comfortably increase your payment on. Once it’s gone, you can add what you were paying on it to the minimum you’ve been paying another debt. Slow and steady wins the race.
There is a lot you can do to boost your financial health in the year ahead. But don’t forget to check in with a professional. Ask someone at your financial institution for a financial checkup. They can look at the big picture to determine if there are other ways to help you save. Maybe you aren’t getting the best rate on your loan or credit card. Maybe consolidating your debt will help you pay it off even faster.
I hope you enjoy the magic of the season. Best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.