Got any plans for Financial Wellness Month? As you might expect, we have some ideas.
January is all about fresh starts. It’s also when many of us resolve to improve our lives in one way or another. So it’s the ideal time of year for Financial Wellness Month. Coming right after the holiday spending spree, it was created to remind us of some critical actions we can take to improve our financial security.
What exactly is financial wellness? There is no single definition, but in general it’s about managing your entire financial life in a thoughtful and positive way. Or, as the personal finance expert Dave Ramsey puts it, “taking control of your money so it doesn’t take control of you.”
So let’s start there. Are there any aspects of your financial life today that feel a little, or a lot, out of control? Perhaps your monthly spending keeps outpacing your income. Perhaps you’re worried you don’t have enough of a short-term emergency fund – or long-term retirement plan. Maybe you’re concerned about your credit score. Or your debts. Or just your overall level of financial knowledge.
Is your head already about to explode? We get it. So here’s our first piece of advice: don’t try to tackle all of your financial concerns at once. It’s just too overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, we either tend to make poor decisions or just do nothing. Much better to take a deep breath, think about one or two key financial issues that really need your attention, and focus on those. And by all means, let us help! Here are some common challenges and resources we offer to help you overcome them.
Are you spending more than you earn? Use our Home Budget Calculator to determine how much money comes in and goes out every month, and identify areas you can improve. Making a budget is not as hard as you might think. Check out our budgeting blog post to learn more.
Need to build your savings? We offer a wide range of savings vehicles including traditional savings accounts and CDs for short-term needs, IRAs for longer-term needs, and HSAs for healthcare expenses. This blog post will help you understand these accounts and where they fit into your overall financial picture.
Need to improve your money management? Our online and mobile tools make it easy for you manage your accounts, send money, deposit checks, pay bills and more, right from your phone, tablet, or computer. Learn more here.
Worried you’ll never qualify for a mortgage? Even if you don’t fit the mold of a typical applicant, you may still be able to buy a home and reap the benefits of ownership. Read this post to learn what you can do and how we can help.
Does it all just seem too complicated? For a lot of folks, the topic of money just brings stress and discomfort. So don’t try to do everything yourself. Work with a team of experts you know and trust. At Taylor Bank, we’re always happy to consult with you about any and all banking and personal finance issues. Beyond banking, a tax professional can help you keep more of your money, an insurance pro can ensure you and your family are well-protected, a registered investment advisor can recommend a sound retirement savings strategy, and so on.
During Financial Wellness Month, we hope you take some time to consider your own situation, determine one or two key areas of need, and take action. Then keep going in a thoughtful and methodical way, until your personal finances are well under control. It’s a process that can bring a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. At Taylor Bank we stand ready to help in every way we can.