January is a great time to start something new.
When it comes to your finances, the new year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Here are five ways to help you start 2020 on the right financial track.
- Set a budget. First, update your expenses and income so you know your starting point. Then set goals such as reducing your debt or increasing your savings – and attach a dollar amount. Finally, create a plan to achieve those goals.
- Plan for the unexpected. Including some wiggle room in your budget helps to reduce the need to take a loan out to cover unexpected expenses. A good way to cover those costs Is with an emergency fund, which you can start this month. Put a small amount of money, such as $25, in a separate savings account, then add to it monthly.
- Review automatic payments. This is a good time to review any automatic payments and subscriptions. Some expenses, such as entertainment streaming services, a gym membership or magazine subscriptions, may no longer fit into your budget, lifestyle or priorities. An annual review of these payments can be part of your general new year cleanup.
- Check your withholdings. After the tax changes in 2018, take a look at your 2019 taxes and see if you need more or less money withheld this year.
- Shop for discounts. January is a good time to buy products on deep discount. For example, if one of your personal goals for 2020 is to improve your fitness level, look for deals on exercise equipment or hold a gym membership. You also can stock up on bedding, winter clothing and holiday décor as stores clear out inventory after the holiday shopping season.
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union offers many products and services to help you monitor your accounts. In addition, the credit union provides financial education presentations and knowledgeable employees to help you become financially successful. Stop by any one of our 13 branches in the Greater Lansing area or visit msufcu.org for more information.