Happy New Year! As many people settle into the first few weeks of the year and focus on doing better in a variety of areas of their lives, many find that they are not in great financial shape or know how to create healthy financial habits. Contrary to what many people think, millennials are not the only ones who aren’t making healthy financial decisions. According to a 2019 report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, 13% of non-retired Americans aged 60 and older say they have no retirement, savings, or pension. Finances can be complex to understand at any age. In order to thrive and not just survive, we’re providing a few suggestions below on some ways you can help you and your family to create a healthier financially-stable future.
Increase Your Financial Literacy
Why do so many people face economic challenges? Some believe that it’s because they are lacking the knowledge needed to make important healthy financial decisions. We make financial decisions every day, yet financial hardships continue to increase. To give yourself financial freedom in your future, you need to educate yourself. You don’t even need to get a degree in finance to make better financial decisions. You can, however, work with a financial advisor and other professionals that are experts in financial management or take courses and attend webinars designed to help you understand anything from financial aid to managing credit. For example, our company, Eagle West Group offers an educational series of courses called Financial Literacy 101 that are created to build financial literacy and management of finances.
Start off Small
You don’t have to make drastic changes in your life to make healthy financial decisions right away. Start small by skipping the venti mocha almond milk cold brew you get at your local coffee shop and make your coffee at home. You also might want to consider skipping take-out and bring your lunch from home, or even speak with a co-worker about carpooling. Small steps can be the building blocks for your financial future.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Budgeting is like dieting: Some people can just do it, but most need strategies to keep them on course. According to Pew Charts, 56% of over 7,000 Americans that were surveyed reported worrying about their finances in the past year and 83% of them did not have savings. When you work with a financial advisor at Eagle West Group for goal planning or budgeting, they look at ideas and techniques that can work for you to help meet your financial goals.
Don’t wait until you are facing a financial emergency to start a budget. Look at where your money goes every month and understand what you need to cover all of your expenses. Make regular living expenses (i.e., groceries, home payments, utilities, car payments, and vehicle maintenance) a priority. After you have considered budgeting your regular living expenses, you can look at what you can afford to save. Remember, in order to make healthy financial decisions, be realistic about what you can afford to save and spend.
Do Your Research
When deciding on a major purchase, research, research, research. Maybe you need to buy a new car, or your home air-conditioning unit shut down and is outside of its warranty period. Whatever the case may be, do not make these decisions too quickly. Evaluate your budget and see what you can afford, then call around or do your research for replacements online. The most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best value. For example, when purchasing a car, oftentimes a used car is a more affordable option and can offer similar warranties as a new car purchase.
We hope the above tips will help you start the new year off right by making healthy financial decisions. If you have questions about other ways to manage your finances, contact us today. Let’s create a healthier financial future, together.
Advisory services offered through EWG Elevate, Inc. dba Eagle West Group.
This represents a partial list of clients. They have not been compensated and were not selected based on duration, performance, account size.