Financial Resolutions to Make in 2021
As happy as we’ll all be to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, there’s more to making 2021 a better year than turning a page on the calendar.
With January approaching, the time has come for many of us to think about New Year’s Resolutions. And, while that diet may not last past February, making a few simple financial resolutions can make your bank account much heathier in the year to come.
Set Specific Goals
It’s all well and good to say you’re going to take better care of your finances, but without a structure of how you intend to get there, it’s not much more effective than announcing your intention to lose 20 pounds with some vague intentions to eat better and exercise more. Once you figure out what it is that you want to accomplish financially, work backwards to understand how you’re going to get there.
Start Saving (More)
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that uncertainty is everywhere. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you’re saving, whether it’s for retirement or for emergencies (and really, it never hurts to do both). When planning your monthly budget, figure out where you can set aside some money to add to your savings.
Plan a Monthly Budget
Did that last sentence about “when planning your monthly budget” catch you off guard? If you haven’t had any more than a loose sense of how much you’re bringing home and spending every month, chances are that the economic hardships associated with COVID-19 have hit you a little bit harder. As we turn the page to a new year, take a good look at your bills and your paychecks and get a clear picture of where you stand.
Take Care of Your Credit
If you haven’t been disciplined about your finances, chances are that you’ve turned to credit to make up the difference. That’s a good way to get into trouble and getting out of it starts with taking a look at your credit report. You’re entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). Request your reports, look for any errors, and get a clear picture of where you stand. Use that as a jumping off point for staying on top of your credit through the year.
Use the Tools You Have
If you’re eligible for your employer’s 401(k) plan, take advantage, and make sure that you contribute enough to secure your employer’s match. (If you don’t, you’re leaving free money on the table.) If you’ve been ignoring your credit for too long, the free credit reports mentioned above are a great start. If you aren’t making automatic payments on utilities, cars, insurance, and other bills, doing so is a great way to keep from falling behind. Things are hard enough right now; there’s no sense in making them harder. Once you know what you’re trying to do, see what you can use to help you do it.
We’re Here to Help
At FirstCapital Bank of Texas, we’re always ready to work with our customers to help them achieve their financial goals. If you need guidance as you work to make your financial health a reality in 2021, don’t hesitate to reach out.