A January Jump Start
Although many people make New Year’s resolutions about exercise and dieting, the best resolution you can make is to get your financial house in order. We asked WCU Director of Retail Growth and Branch Administration Mohammad Rizwan for a to-do list for January.
- Think about 2023 – Take a big picture view of the year ahead. There are known expenses you can predict like someone going to college or buying a car and unknowns such as an unexpected illness that should be considered. Keep an eye on financial trends and act accordingly. For example, you can arrange your fuel bill so it is spread out over the year rather than being based on what is consumed in each month. This will make payments more predictable.
- Set a budget – Understanding where money is going is crucial as well as differentiating between wants and needs. Setting up a sensible budget gives peace of mind. People who struggle with figuring this out should consult with a Workers Way certified financial coach who can take them through the process step by step.
- Use your bonus wisely – Many people get year-end bonuses. Rather than using it to splurge on an impulse item, consider using these funds to pay down credit card debt or to contribute to your rainy-day fund.
- Prioritize savings – Allocating money to savings should be thought of as a regular bill. It’s like paying yourself. Making it an automatic withdrawal will keep it consistent and automatic rather than something that must be decided each month. Your savings should be put in an account where the money can grow, which is always gratifying to see.
- Take on taxes – January is a time for gathering documents necessary for preparing a tax return such as W2 and 1099 forms. It’s also advisable to periodically re-evaluate how much is automatically withdrawn from your paycheck.
- Review your legacy planning documents – Many people either don’t have their will, healthcare proxy and other legacy documents filled out or they have filled them out once, put them in a drawer, and have since forgotten about them. These documents need to be regularly updated to make sure items like the beneficiaries listed are accurate.
January can be a very productive time to set yourself up for a successful 2023. Workers Credit Union has many resources including certified financial coaches who can help.
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