Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team
It’s never too late to take control of your personal finances. Prioritizing money management will help give you peace of mind and promote necessary skills for financial security. Read below for tips on creating healthy spending and saving habits.
Set SMART financial goals to provide a sense of direction and accountability. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Defining goals will help to create a realistic plan, maintain focus, and provide a way to track progress. Start by brainstorming general ideas of ideal but realistic financial goals, and then break each down to specific, achievable steps to reach those goals.
Set SMART financial goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Create a Budget
The word “budget” often carries a negative connotation and has been known to inflict universal uneasiness. It is often similarly viewed as the word “diet” – as a restriction or sacrifice. The true meaning of a budget is to spend and save money with the specific purpose of reaching financial goals. Think less about sacrifice, and instead focus on the protection a budget can offer. Consider a budget as an opportunity to see where money is currently being spent and where it could be better used.
Not all debt is bad. Debt that finances a specific investment, such as a college education or purchasing a home, is considered “good debt.” However, debt spent on things that hold no specific value is considered “bad debt.” Work towards paying off debt by paying as much as possible on the highest interest-rate debt while paying minimum payments on others. This will slowly but surely help you make progress toward financial stability.
Form Healthy Financial Habits
Forming positive habits makes it easier to stay in sync with your financial goals. Healthy habits can promote sticking to a budget, prevent impulse purchases, and reduce stress levels. Changing habits is not always easy, but it is worth it! Keep financial goals in mind to provide motivation and increase focus. Don’t forget to celebrate victories along the way by participating in fun, low-cost activities.
It’s never too late to get started! Work towards financial security by creating a system and sticking with it.
Pro Tip: Teach children how to budget at a young age. If they receive an allowance, teach them to contribute part of that money to savings. This will help them become familiar with money management and setting goals early on.
Adapted from the GBS presentation “GBS Retirement Budgeting Healthy Habits”