6 Ways to Get Financially Fit in in the New Year

About half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each January, but only about 20% of people keep them. Getting into shape and achieving financial goals are among the most popular resolutions. (Statista.com)

While we can’t help you reach your ideal weight, we can share 6 ways to help you become financially fit in the new year:

  1. Put your money on autopilot—Set up direct deposit, authorize electronic payments, and automate routine savings. Streamlining your finances with online tools not only saves time, it helps you avoid late fees and overdraft fees and makes saving easier.
  2. Create a spending plan—Only about 40% of adults have a budget, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Members can use our online and mobile banking tools to make budgets and savings goals, or set up a meeting with one of our Budget Buddies who can help assess and make plans to work on weak points in your finances.
  3. Build an emergency fund—Not having an emergency fund is like driving without wearing a seatbelt; it’s a risk that could ruin the rest of your life. More than half of Americans don’t have a rainy-day fund and 40% don’t even have $400 in cash saved for emergencies. You can start small, $10 to $20 per paycheck, but work to save 3 to 8 months of income. To make it easier, set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account.
  4. Increase your credit score—By being a member, you also have free access to Credit Score by SavvyMoney located within online and mobile banking. This tool breaks down and grades each section of your report on payment history, credit usage, total balances, credit age, and recent credit. Credit Score tells you why your grade is what it is and how to improve and increase your score.
  5. Request your credit report—You want to make sure there are no errors, and no one is using your credit unlawfully. Request one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
  6. Beef up retirement funds—Make regular contributions to a retirement savings plan such as a 401(k) or IRA. If your company offers a 401(k) plan, contribute at least enough to meet the company match. If you don’t, it’s like leaving free money on the table.

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