The New Year is upon us and with that resolutions for things we want to tackle in the months ahead. This is a great time to reset and re-focus to ensure you’re financially fit and secure. Here are some tips to help you work towards a safe and prosperous 2020 and beyond.
Get Financially Fit
- Set financial goals – Start by setting specific goals for your finances this year – perhaps you want to build an emergency fund, go on vacation or donate to charity each month. Having a specific goal will keep you motivated and can be used to create the budget necessary to achieve success.
- Save for the future – As the saying goes, pay yourself first. Consider setting up automatic transfers into your savings account each time you get paid. Also, make sure you are taking advantage of retirement savings plans such as a company-sponsored 401(k). Many employers will match a certain percent of your contribution, be sure you are contributing the amount necessary to maximize that match. If you don’t have a retirement plan with your employer, make sure you contribute to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account).
- Pay down debt – Review all outstanding loan and credit card debt to see what the current interest rates are on your accounts then focus on paying down those with the highest interest rates first while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts. Paying additional principal can significantly cut down the amount of time and money it takes to fulfill the debts. Consider paying those debts twice per month rather than monthly to tackle the balance even faster.
- Review Insurance coverages – As your debts, assets and life stage changes, so should your insurance coverage. Make sure that you are updating policies to ensure you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself and your family.
- Review your credit report – You can request one free credit report annually from each reporting bureau. It is wise to do this multiple times over the course of the year. Frequently reviewing the reports for irregularities will help to keep your identity and personal information safe.
- Be mindful of current financial industry scams – Be aware of the current financial and identity theft scams in the marketplace. Scams are often complex and very convincing. Vigilance and knowledge are key to preventing fraud and protecting your personal information.
- Utilize payment methods that are protected and secure – Utilize newer payment methods such as a mobile wallet. You simply add your debit or credit cards to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. Card information loaded to your mobile wallet is encrypted so your actual card number is not transmitted therefore not seen or stored by the merchant during a transaction. To access cards within the mobile wallet, a PIN, fingerprint or face scan is required for authentication.
Whether you are focusing on saving for the future, need advice on tackling debt, or want to learn how to better protect and secure your financial information, Univest can help. Stop by your local Univest financial center to talk to our personal bankers or visit www.univest.net.
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC