The new year is the perfect time to review your assets, debts, credit score, and savings plan. Take the opportunity to review your current situation and set yourself up for financial success.
It’s time to start a new tradition. Performing a yearly financial wellness checkup will help you plan for upcoming expenses, reveal if you’re on track to hit your financial goals, and readjust your accounts to fit your current needs. At Muncy Bank, we know that life can change quickly. This step-by-step financial checkup will help ensure that you’re financially prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Review your budget
The best tool to stay on track throughout the year is your monthly household budget. Setting a budget can be tedious and overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. A good rule is the common 60/20/20 strategy for maintaining a healthy budget.
- 60% of your monthly income should be allocated to needs (house payment, utilities, insurance).
- 20% of your monthly income can go to “fun” spending (restaurants, entertainment, shopping).
- 20% of your monthly income goes into a savings account (401k, IRA, CDs).
Your financial wellness checkup provides the opportunity to adjust your budget for the coming year. Calculate your current income and expenses and update your budget accordingly. Look closely at recurring expenses such as tv and music subscriptions. Now is a great time to eliminate unnecessary expenses and cancel services that you don’t use. Keeping your budget up to date will place you on the path to financial success.
Check your credit score
It’s easier than ever to check and track your credit score. Many credit card companies provide updates if your credit score changes and access to your score whenever you wish. Your credit score plays an important role in your financial health. It influences the interest rates you receive on home, auto, and personal loans as well as credit cards. A better credit score will save you money in interest over your lifetime. Fair to good credit is typically defined as a score of 650-750 and excellent credit is around 760-850. If your number isn’t as high as you’d like, follow these tips for improving your credit score.
- Review your credit report. Obtain your free annual credit report and check that the information included is accurate. Dispute any errors you see, as they could be negatively impacting your score.
- Pay your bills on time. This simple act shows that you are a responsible borrower and improves your credit score.
- Reduce debt. Your credit utilization ratio should be less than 30%. If it’s higher, it could bring your credit score down. Read more about strategies to pay down debt.
Review your insurance policies
Unexpected bills can destroy your financial hard work. Protect yourself and your finances with proper insurance coverage. During your financial wellness checkup, review your current health, home, and auto insurance policies to see if they provide accurate coverage for your current needs. If you’ve added value to your home through a remodel or renovation, you may want to increase your homeowner’s insurance to cover the new value of your house. Purchased a new piece of jewelry? Make sure you have it covered against loss or theft. Consider adding other insurance policies to your portfolio to decrease your financial risk. Popular insurance products that you may not have considered include pet insurance, disability income insurance, and life insurance.
Plan to build savings
Whether your savings goals are focused on vacation or retirement, Muncy Bank offers a variety of savings accounts to fit your needs. Think about any large expenses coming up in the next year and allocate more savings to help you prepare. Do you have an emergency savings account? Experts recommend building an emergency account that holds a minimum of 3-6 months of living expenses. If retirement planning is a priority this year, our Essential Retirement Guide can help you get started. Your financial wellness checkup is a great time to identify your savings goals and create a savings plan.
Evaluate your investments
The value of your investment accounts will fluctuate throughout the year, hopefully in a positive direction. Your annual financial wellness checkup is a great time to review the asset allocation of your savings. The proportion of money you commit to high-risk investments should change as you age. Make sure your investments are aligned with your goals and rebalance the accounts as necessary. If you’re not sure how to best allocate your investments, our investment services team is here to guide you. Muncy Bank offers money market accounts, CDs, and IRAs to help you invest in your future.
Completing a financial wellness checkup will leave you with a clear picture of your financial situation and confidence that you are heading in the right direction to meet your goals. If it’s time to open a savings account or invest for retirement, look no further than Muncy Bank. We have offices in Muncy, Hughesville, Clarkstown, Montoursville, Dewart, Avis, Montgomery, and Linden. Give us a call today, or schedule a visit to one of our Lycoming County Bank locations. We’ve got your financial needs covered and friendly staff members to answer all your questions. Read 7 Pledges for a Healthy Financial Life for more financial wellness tips.