By: Annie Banker, Vice President/Branch Manager Great Falls Downtown
Wow – Another year has flown by! Where did the time go?! And where did all my money go? As a new year begins and, with tax season near, the timing couldn’t be better for a “Financial Checkup”!
You may start by asking: Did I meet my financial goals last year? What are my goals for this year? Some folks are just now realizing they should be setting goals at all. Empower yourself by taking control of your financial future!
Depending on what stage you are in life, your financial goals will vary. Some people are planning to get that auto loan paid off, while others may be saving for a down payment on their first home. Still others may be trying to squeeze in that extra percentage to put towards retirement.
Truly, our financial goals should be tended like the flowers in our garden (isn’t it springtime somewhere?).
If you follow a monthly budget, now is a good time to review and update it. Starting from scratch? Try it out!
Setting a budget to track and limit spending can be a very useful tool. “A penny saved is a penny earned” may be an old adage, but it’s never outdated. It takes discipline to follow a budget, but the payoff (pun intended!) may be that you finally get going on that emergency fund or pay down those ugly credit card balances. A great way to get started is to enroll in online/mobile banking. It’s an easy way to manage your money, deposit checks and pay your bills 24/7.
More “check-up” tips:
- Get your annual free credit report and address any issues there.
- Considering a consolidation loan? Interest rates are still low! Give a call to your nearest Stockman Bank branch to learn more.
- Review income tax withholdings: recent tax code changes may warrant an adjustment.
- If you are self employed, are you prepared for possible tax liability? Are you taking advantage of every deduction allowed? Consult your tax professional with questions!
- Review insurance coverages and premiums: money saved here could go into savings or to pay down debt.
- Estate planning – any changes needed?
Keeping up on your financial health should be an important part of your everyday life. Maintain focus and keep your eye on the prize. It will “pay off” in the long run! From all of us at Stockman Bank, Happy New Year! We wish you a prosperous 2019!