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Getting Financially Fit: 5 Tips to Boost Your Well-Being

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to get healthier? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent Forbes Health survey, 48% of people said improving their fitness is a top priority in 2024.

But while you’re setting goals to eat right, lose weight, and exercise more, don’t forget about your fiscal fitness. We all know finances are important, but did you know that poor financial wellness can even affect your physical and mental well-being? It’s true. In fact, according to Purdue University, individuals with high financial stress are twice as likely to report poor health.

The good news is that, just like physical health, a few simple steps and good habits can make a huge difference. Here are five transformative tips to guide you toward financial wellness this year.

Tip 1: Enhance Your Financial Literacy

Learning about personal finance is like exercising your body—it will make you stronger and expand your capability. Just start with something that interests you and grow from there. Maybe you’re curious about investing or paying down debt. Maybe you’d like to know what it takes to start your own business. There is a wealth of resources available, from books, YouTube videos, and podcasts to enrolling in a personal finance course.  And don’t forget, your local bank can be a valuable resource. Drop by and let’s discuss how our tools can turn your financial dreams into reality.

Tip 2: Monitor Your Spending Habits

It feels like a lot of expenses are unavoidable—rent, bills, and so on—but upon closer inspection, most people are surprised how much of their spending is discretionary. To break this cycle, start tracking your expenses regularly using apps, spreadsheets, or even just pen and paper. Whether weekly or monthly, consistent monitoring helps identify areas where you can cut costs, giving you a clearer path to your financial objectives.

Tip 3: Boost Retirement Savings

Secure your future by ramping up your contributions to your retirement account. Consider a modest one or two percent increase at the beginning of each year, and whenever a significant life event occurs—be it a promotion, raise, or marriage. As you reduce your discretionary spending, look for opportunities to increase your contributions. If you’re in the market for a retirement savings account, Farmers & Merchants Bank offers Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), so stop by and open yours today.

Tip 4: Regularly Check Your Credit Score and Report

Routinely monitoring your credit score and report is vital. Use Annual Credit Report to access your free credit report annually. Whether at the start of the year or before a significant purchase, understanding your credit progress empowers you to make informed financial decisions.

Tip 5: Craft a Net Worth Statement

Take a financial snapshot by creating a net worth statement. This document reveals the value of your assets versus your liabilities, offering a comprehensive view of your financial position. Regularly revisiting this statement allows you to track your financial well-being over time, celebrating growth and addressing areas of concern.

Financial wellness is an integral part of overall well-being. The more you educate yourself on personal finance and track your money’s journey, the closer you get to achieving your goals. Knowing where you stand financially will help you rest easier at night—and you know that’s good for your health! Feel free to reach out with any questions—your financial success is our priority.