As cliché as it might be, the start of a new year is the perfect time to put a financial plan in place. This resolutions guide provides inspiration for you when planning your financial goals for 2022.
Create and Maintain a Budget
Picture yourself on a canoe in the middle of a lake. A budget is like the oar you use to pick a direction and get to shore. Of course, you can still get to shore by using your arms as paddles or by jumping off and trying to swim. Still, wouldn’t it be much easier to just use the oar?
Now, should you choose to use one, you’re able to customize your oar (budget) to your liking. Putting the metaphor aside: your budget is your own, and while there are several methods you can learn like 50/30/20 and zero-based budgeting, you’re ultimately in control. A budget can help you because it provides necessary information for analyzing your financial health, exposes poor financial habits and assists with determining your ability to add new debt.
Speaking of debt, one of the primary reasons people create budgets is to tackle their debt. Being able to see your income, expenses and money left over is integral to creating a debt repayment strategy that works for you.
We’ve written at length about credit scores and the positive effects a good credit score can provide. If you have aspirations for raising a less than ideal credit score, there are two simple things you can start doing today to see an improvement in your score.
Young or old, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. While you will be receiving some money in your retirement via social security, it’s becoming clear it’s necessary to have savings to supplement your social security income.
Emergency Savings Fund
While one can never be completely ready for an emergency, having an emergency savings fund can help soften the blow. An emergency savings fund is the money you don’t touch, purely useful in emergencies like car troubles, unexpected medical bills and so forth. As for how much to put away, we recommend you have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved.
If you have a healthy amount of savings, there are ways grow them a bit faster than a savings account might offer. CDS, Money Market and IRA accounts are good, low-risk ways to grow your money. If you want to go beyond that, Florida Credit Union offers investment services, and we’ve partnered with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. for more comprehensive offerings.
Is 2022 the year you finally make the big step into homeownership? Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have been around the block a few times, the process of buying a home is a time consuming and financially taxing endeavor. The rewards are certainly worth it.
If you’re already a homeowner, is your home in need of a little “TLC?” One of your resolutions could be to take on those home renovation projects that have fallen by the wayside. If you’re in need of funds, we’ve written about home equity loans and how they are a valuable resource.
Refinance a Loan
Do you currently have a loan you’re unhappy with? If your financial situation changed since you took on the loan, refinancing can help you replace an existing loan with a newer loan with updated terms.
Mortgage and vehicle loans are both popular loans for refinance. While not a possibility for all, refinancing is a great option for those looking to get a lower interest rate or shorten the length of their loan terms.
Here We Come, 2022!
As we enter our 68th year as a financial institution, our focus stays the same: help to meet our member’s financial needs while expanding the products and services available to them. We wish you and your family a great 2022, and remember we’re always here if you need a hand!
Florida Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. Founded in 1954 as the Alachua County Teachers’ Credit Union, FCU now services over 130,000 members in 48 counties throughout North and Central Florida. For more information on the services we provide, visit FLCU.org or call us at 1-800-284-1144.