New Year, New Money Habits
Jan 12, 2021
Small Changes for Improving Your Financial Health in the New Year
The New Year is a time for new beginnings and an opportunity to look at our everyday habits–particularly our money habits as we manage any financial challenges. A habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and occurs without much conscious thought, like brushing our teeth. Healthy money habits may include carefully reviewing your credit card statements every month, for example.
As the year gets underway, there are opportunities to reinforce and create healthy money habits to help you reach your financial goals, which can affect your entire wellbeing. Here are a few ideas to try as the New Year gets underway.
1. Make a Goal (and Write It Down)
Goal-setting gives you direction. This action might seem small, but it’s not. Make it a habit to look at monthly finances and jot down one or two goals. The goal could be taking a bite out of your credit card balances or setting aside a small amount each month for a large purchase.
Pro Tip: Consider tools like NavyArmy’s Credit Score Dashboard to start. You’ll get instant access to your credit score, credit report, personalized money-saving offers and financial education tips on how to improve your score or maintain an already great score.
2. Set it and Forget It
If your circumstances allow, setting your bills to “automatic payment,” is a positive money habit and ensures bills are paid on time. Consider setting up “auto save” as well to automate your monthly savings to help you achieve your goal.
3. Spend with Care
If you don’t already have one, build the habit of using a monthly spending or budgeting plan. You’ll learn how much money you have to work with, how much is going out each month for bills, what you need to set aside for other living expenses, and how much you can devote to your goal from each paycheck. For more control over your spending, try the Card Control Smart Card app. It allows you to control when, where and how your debit card is used, and to create transaction alerts.
4. Deal with Debt
Think about your credit card and debt habits:
Are most of your purchases made with consumer credit cards? What are your credit card balances and other debts? Listing out all your monthly debt payments helps you stay aware and act if needed.
5. Celebrate Your Progress
You likely have many positive habits already. That’s something to be proud of, as you apply those lessons to building new money habits. Make it simple. Tackle one habit at a time and celebrate your wins. The New Year is sure to be a success when you tackle one habit at a time and make it work for you.
NavyArmy is a member of GreenPath Financial Wellness, a nonprofit focused on building financial wellness.