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5 Tips to Improve Your Financial Wellness

Teresa Arrigo, RICP®

Financial wellness is a journey that requires consistent effort and habits. While building wealth and financial independence takes time, there are fundamental steps you can take to get and stay on the right path. From tackling debt to saving for the future, improving your financial wellness involves making intentional choices tailored to your goals and circumstances.

In this post, we’ll explore 5 actionable tips to help strengthen your finances and cultivate confidence when it comes to money. Whether you’re just starting out or aiming to refine your approach, these strategies can empower you to make smart decisions and proactively work towards your vision of financial independence.

1. Prioritize paying off debt

Some financial gurus would tell you all debt is created equal, but math matters. If you are paying 20%+ on a credit card, investing money before you pay it off would NOT be wise. You aren’t likely to gain enough investing to keep up with the amount of interest you’re paying. However, waiting until you pay off your mortgage to invest is possibly unwise, too, since that interest rate is well below 10%. Get rid of credit card and store credit debts before you invest.

2. Create a budget (and stick to it)

To improve your financial wellness, you’re going to have to deal with your spending habits – good or bad. If you don’t operate with a budget, even loosely, you will find it more challenging to take other steps to better your financial wellness. Understanding your current expenses is foundational for circumstances you’ll experience in the future, whether you lose a job, get a raise, or something in between.

3. Build up your emergency fund

Life often brings unexpected events, both positive and negative. By regularly putting money into a separate savings account designated for emergencies and the unexpected, you create a buffer that allows you to roll with life’s punches. When the costs of a sudden car repair, medical bill, or even a spur-of-the-moment opportunity come up, you’ll have cash reserves to cover it. Building this financial resilience prepares you for life’s uncertainties so you can manage them without stressing your monthly budget or going into debt.

4. Keep a close eye on your money

Setting up automatic payments and transfers helps manage your finances, but you still need to keep a close eye on things. Get in the routine of regularly checking your budgets, debts, savings goals, and spending – not as a chore but as an act of self-care. This intentional monitoring ensures your financial systems are working smoothly and catching any issues early. When you make time to review your money situation, you gain clarity on your progress and ability to achieve future plans.

5. Secure your future

It’s easy to assume that saving for the future is singularly focused on your retirement, but it’s actually more than that. Don’t get us wrong, you should DEFINITELY be saving for your retirement, such as through your employer or a Roth IRA. But beyond retirement planning, securing your future also means saving for that dream vacation, finally paying off a student loan, or buying your dream house.

By implementing these 5 tips, you’ll gain clarity on your spending, debts, and savings, enabling you to spend mindfully, save confidently, and work toward the future you’ve envisioned for yourself and your loved ones. Remember, financial independence is a journey, not a destination, and you can fine-tune your financial wellness along the way!

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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