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January is National Financial Wellness Month

January is National Financial Wellness Month

With 2023 in full swing, now is the ideal time to check in on your financial wellness. Along with the traditional New Year’s resolutions, it’s an opportunity to objectively assess monetary setbacks and ensure financial security. 

What is financial wellness? The definition can vary depending on someone’s financial background. For most people, it’s feeling in control of their money, living within their means, and being prepared for emergencies and the future. For those with more complex finances, financial wellness can mean meeting with their financial professional and reviewing portfolios to make sure their choices align with their long-term goals. Someone who’s experienced serious financial difficulties will have a different perspective than those who’ve had a more stable path.  

Wherever you are in your financial wellness journey, the questions you should be asking yourself are the same:    

  • How much have I saved?
  • How much income do I need each month? 
  • Am I comfortable with my debt? And if not, what is my plan to reduce it? 
  • How fluid is my cash flow for everyday expenses, discretionary purchases, as well as in an emergency?
  • What are my long-term goals and is my financial strategy geared toward achieving them?
  • How far off is my retirement horizon and will I be financially ready when it comes? 

Here are a few behaviors to consider as part of your yearly overview:  

  • Align your spending with your goals – am I spending money deliberately and on things that matter to my future? 
  • Automate payments for credit cards, student loans
  • Review your credit reports to make sure they’re accurate
  • Build an emergency fund by setting up automated transfers from checking to saving
    • Pay yourself first and watch your nest egg grow behind the scenes 
  • Contribute to your retirement account, taking full advantage of any matched contributions from your employer

To learn more about financial wellness, visit any Bankwell location or your financial institution.