It’s the time of year to evaluate your finances and modify financial plans. At Armstrong Bank, we partner with our customers to help you reach your financial goals. Use this checklist to help organize your finances and set new goals. Then visit one of our locations for personalized help from our friendly Bankers.
While budgeting should always be part of your routine, the first quarter is a great time to take a fresh look at your spending and savings goals. Are you signed up for subscription services you no longer use? Now is the time to cancel. As far as saving goes, consider increasing your contribution to your retirement account by a percentage point or more. Small, incremental changes have a huge impact over time.
If you’re planning to make a big purchase, like a car or home, in the near future, it’s helpful to know your credit score now so you can take steps to raise it if needed. Free apps like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame will give you an average estimate of your credit score.
Marriage, divorce, a new baby, or the death of a spouse are all major life changes that also affect your finances. You may need to update your budget, health insurance policy, and/or W-4 form. For a new child, you may want to open an education savings account.
Are your beneficiaries up to date on your life insurance, 401(k), IRA, pension, Health Savings Account, and/or other important financial and benefits accounts? For example, if your parent is named as your beneficiary, but you got married recently, you may want to update your beneficiary to your new spouse. This is also the time to review your insurance coverage. Should you increase your life insurance policy or add a long-term disability policy?
Are you saving for that inevitable rainy day? How’s your account balance? If you had to make withdrawals recently, increase your contributions whenever feasible in order to return this account to its previous balance. Or if you’ve reached your savings goal, now is a good time to increase your account. And of course, if you don’t have an emergency fund, open a savings account with Armstrong Bank and get started! It’s never too late.
When it comes to setting goals and changing spending habits, it’s best to start small. Solid choices on a daily basis will move you closer to your long-term goals. For example, if you carry a $5,000 credit card balance and your monthly budget is already tight, start with a small goal, such as paying an extra $25 or $50 in addition to your monthly payment. If you’re accustomed to eating out during the workweek, start by packing a sack lunch at least one day a week. Once you reach these initial milestones, try to stretch yourself more, but always incrementally. If you set unrealistic goals, such as paying off your entire credit card balance in three months, you’ll most likely miss the mark, feel like a failure and be less motivated to try again.
As a family-owned bank, we care about the financial health and well-being of our customers and the communities we serve. Visit one of our locations to share your financial resolutions with our friendly, knowledgeable Bankers. We can help you choose from our modern suite of financial products and services to find the right option for your needs. Give us a call or stop by today!