How to meet your financial goals in 2020

According to Inc Magazine “save more and spend less” was one of the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 – just behind eat healthier, lose weight and exercise more.

If “saving more and spending less” is one of your resolutions, here are a few places to get started:

Set your budget 
Use apps such as Mint to evaluate where, and how, you are spending your money. Next, set a goal for how much you would like to save, spend, or put toward debt. Monitor your progress throughout the month by saving receipts or tracking your spending in Online or Mobile Banking.

Tackle your debt
Make a list of all your debt and include the interest rate on each debt. From there, put extra money toward one of the bills you would like to pay off. Some people recommend attacking the debt with the highest interest rate first, some advocate for starting with the one with the smallest dollar amount. Either way, make sure to avoid taking on additional debt while you’re paying it down.

Save for retirement
It’s never too early to start! Sign up for your company’s 401(k) plan if they have one and if they match a certain percentage, make sure to take advantage of it. Once you get more comfortable with your budget, see if you can increase your 401(k) contributions. You can also open up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Contact a member of our team to learn more.

Start an emergency fund
Emergency funds are critical because, along with giving you peace of mind, they help to ensure you don’t have to go into debt when a crisis occurs. Start with a small amount each month, and increase it as you earn more (and pay down your debt).

Improve your credit score
Your credit score is the gateway to getting financing for a house, a car, or to receiving any type of loan. You are eligible to receive a credit report from each company – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® – once a year, at no charge by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

If your score needs improvement, focus on paying your bills on time, as well as paying down your debt, keeping credit card balances low, and limiting the number of credit cards you open. Also, make sure to review your credit report regularly to catch and report any inaccuracies.