Learn and Plan | Financial wellness tips to form good money habits in the New Year
A family celebrates the New Year together with sparklers.

Financial wellness tips to form good money habits in the New Year

Jan 8, 2024, 7:59:54 PM | Reading Time: 4 minutes

As one year ends and a new year begins, it’s often a time of reflection and deciding what improvements we can make to boost our happiness or better set ourselves up for success in the coming months. Financial wellness plays an important role in our overall well-being because the more in control we feel of our money and financial situation, the more empowered we feel about reaching our goals and living our lives to the fullest. We’ve asked employees to share how they improve their financial health and what habits have been the most effective in boosting their financial wellness.

Keeping track of spendingKeeping track of spending

Practice makes perfect just like making any positive change in your life or learning a new skill. Moving the needle in a positive direction, especially when it comes to financial wellness, often takes adopting good financial habits that support proper money management. Even small actions can add up and shift your financial standing to a place you feel more confident and less stressed.

“I’ve found using cash instead of a card for a lot of my purchases helps me avoid buying little things I don’t need and that can add up over time,” shares Melissa Metcalf, Business Analyst.

“I try to only make online purchases one day a week,” adds Kate Long, Senior Marketing Content Strategist. “Otherwise, it’s so easy to lose track of how much we’re spending online. I save items to a list, and this gives me more time to decide if I actually need each item. I’ve found that I always end up removing things from my cart.”

Creating a budget and sticking to itCreating a budget and sticking to it

When balancing income and expenses, many employees use their budgets to avoid overspending and keep their goals on track.

“Budgeting is key to finding where each dollar is going, and each dollar needs to have a designated place.” Ryan Thomas, Manager in General Services, adds, “I set a budget and stick to it. I try to be transparent with myself and understand where every penny I spend is going. I use a budgeting app that links to my bank account, and it makes the process very easy!”

Using a budget has helped Lisa Williams, Advanced Agency Specialist, to lower money stress and save for activities they enjoy. “We have separate accounts set up for Christmas, camping, hockey, and so on. We put $25 to $100 out of each paycheck into each of these categories. Then, when it comes time for holiday shopping or to pay annual fees, we already have the money and are not sweating over how we will pay for it, letting us still enjoy the things we like to do.”

Saving for the futureSaving for the future

The steps taken today to improve financial well-being often have a ripple effect and can positively impact the road ahead. Saving for the future is a simple yet valuable step supporting financial wellness in the coming months and years.

“Remember to save for the future!” says Amanda Chilson, Financial Systems Analyst. “I contribute to an investment portfolio, Roth IRA, or another retirement account every month. This is done outside of what I have set up through my employer. It’s amazing how putting $50 per month toward each account has added up.” Becca Dolan, Manager of Graphic & Digital Design, adds, “I set up a separate account at a completely different bank than where the bulk of my paycheck goes. Through my budget, a specific amount of my paycheck goes automatically to this account, so I don’t have to see or transfer it. A high-yield savings has also offered a slightly higher interest rate that adds up over time.”

Valerie Bunnell, General Service Specialist, agrees that thinking about your future today can help you be more proactive about saving money for planned and unplanned expenses. “Spending money is easy, but you will need some in the future, especially after you stop working. When thinking about my living costs, I try to determine what is needed now and what will be needed to live comfortably in retirement. I think my future self will be thankful!”

Fine-tuning a financial plan

A person’s satisfaction with their current and future financial situation will likely ebb and flow. Still, the more steps taken each year to fine-tune a budget, put more toward savings, and adopt healthy financial habits, the more likely you’ll feel financially fit throughout the year. Annual reviews of personal finances, especially with a financial professional, can ensure goals are still on track and determine if any changes are needed.

As you find a better balance between meeting today’s financial obligations and preparing for tomorrow, you can help reduce stress levels, make confident financial decisions, and have the resources necessary to live your life and build a more secure future.

The opinions and ideas expressed by individual employees are their own. The opinions and ideas are not indicative of future performance or success and may not be representative of the experience of other individuals.

The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.