Saving money and getting finances in order is consistently one of the top New Year’s resolutions. In the current environment, 88% of Americans are concerned with inflation and many do not anticipate their finances to improve in 2022. What are the top four tips for tackling your finances and financial resolutions in 2022?
1. Get down to the basics. Arizona earned a “C” on a national report card of financial literacy. This means children from grades kindergarten through high school do not get enough education on learning and understanding financial basics. Tackling financial literacy at any age is imperative to being able to confidently manage income and understand spending and debt. If you’re in doubt about your financial literacy, invest in learning more, either through online courses, reputable budgeting sites with detailed how-to’s, or tools like credit card debt calculators.
2. Basic financial skills typically include making a realistic budget and sticking to it. In order to make a budget, you can collect all of your previous month’s bills and purchases and make a list of reoccurring expenses like gas, groceries, and healthcare. When this is done, you can look at your income versus your spending and aim to spend less than you earn – eliminating expenses you do not need. In line with creating a budget, and truly making it work, you will want to take the steps to stick with it. One tip to help with this could be paying your bills as your paychecks come in and being able to determine the difference between wants and needs.
3. Creating financial goals that are achievable, based on your budget, is another recommendation. Paying down debt, adding an additional month of expenses to your savings account or contributing a few additional percentage points to your retirement plan are good goals to start with. Keeping credit card debt can be very expensive. When you carry a balance on your credit card you are being charged interest, owing more money to the credit card company. The faster you can pay off your debt, the quicker you will have financial freedom.
4. Take advantage of the job market and new opportunities. Throughout the past year the job market has had large swings making job hunting and new opportunities more available to those who are looking. It is a good time to potentially ask for a raise with your current employer or find a new job with a better salary.
Regardless of your financial situation and what your goals are for 2022, asking for advice and seeking input from a professional can help. TruWest Credit Union, based in Tempe, operates as a cooperative and aims to serve its members with a lifetime of quality financial services.
AUTHOR: Rachel Caballero is community development manager at TruWest Credit Union. TruWest Credit Union is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and operates as a cooperative providing its members with a lifetime of quality financial services and a culture of caring for its members, employees and communities. TruWest is a strong and sound financial institution with more than 93,000 members and assets totaling more than $1.5 billion. TruWest® Credit Union has 12 branch locations – eight in metro Phoenix and four in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit truwest.org.