John Bohan, Nederland. The holidays are over and if you’re like me you feel a little bit lighter – in your wallet, that is. Unfortunately, there isn’t a gym we can join to replenish our dollars. So how do we get back on track?
If I were going to drop a few pounds, I’d put together a plan for watching what I eat and exercising more — cycle Tuesday and Thursday, play tennis Friday, hike Sunday, eat salads for lunch and cut back on the craft beer for a month or two. Simple yet effective.
Why don’t we have a similar approach to managing our money? We overspend during the holidays on gifts, dinners, travel and other items and essentially stretch out our financial waistline. Then, assume it will just work itself out during the year.
The same game plan you use on your waistline after the holidays can be just as valuable for your finances. This year, make a choice to get F.I.T. — Financially Informed Today.
Here are 5 simple tips to becoming F.I.T.
Track your spending – Set a day and time each week to review your debit and credit statements
Start your emergency fund – Put away $50, $200, or $1000 away each month for unexpected expenses like car tires or furnace repair.
Check your credit score – Get a free credit report annually to look for any signs of fraud or errors
Invest – Make a weekly or monthly contribution to an IRA, 401k or savings fund.
Educate yourself – Nobody will drag you to the gym or teach you personal finance unless you take the initiative. Read one book this month on a finance-related topic.
It’s called personal finance for a reason. It’s up to you. Now get out for that hike, eat a salad and take the first few steps toward getting Financially F.I.T. this year.
John Bohan is a Certified Financial Planner® and Private Client Services Market Leader for Centennial Bank and Trust. Reach him at 303.643.3521 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Member FDIC.