NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) – With the start of a new year, many of you may be looking to kick start goals towards good financial health.
Every year people make resolutions to pay off their debt, save more money or some sort of money related goals, but sticking to them is not so easy. For some people, the pandemic made those goals seem even harder to achieve.
Arvest Bank Benton County Marketing Manager, Maggie Theodoro, said part of being financially healthy is about being able to meet your financial needs while also being prepared for emergencies.
When it comes to saving, her advice is to set small goals. Saving $10 to $20 per paycheck might be more attainable than $100 a paycheck and build from there.
Increase how much you put aside every few months. Theodoro said the small victories will make it easier to stay in the race and every dollar adds up.
The biggest challenge is to not touch that money so store it away, start a savings account, anything to make it harder to access it.
“It’s just good practice. You’re going to alleviate so much stress in your life. You’re going to feel confident about moving through the future and you’re also setting good practice that you can pass along to family members or your children to let them know how they should be saving money,” said Theodoro.
When it comes to chopping down your debt, she recommends starting with the smallest bills first and working your way up to the larger ones. Again, she said it’s all about winning those small victories.
Theodoro recommends creating a budget. Figure out how much you have coming in, immediate bills, and then how much you can put towards your debt and your savings.
This will make it easier for you to stick to your plan.
Another piece of advice is to remember to stay flexible, especially during the pandemic. It’s okay to adjust your goals to meet your current needs.
As you’re working towards building good financial health, why not pass some of those practices down to your kids?
Theodoro said you can start teaching your kids about money management as soon as they understand the value of a dollar.
Theodoro said teaching your kids about money, saving and good spending habits will only help them become more financially responsible adults.
With younger kids she recommends starting with a piggy bank and teaching them how to add their coins in there. Take them to buy something they might want like candy and show them how many of their coins they will need to get it.
She said it’s also very important for kids to learn how people earn money.
“Whether it’s starting with a jar full of pennies, having them do chores or do good things to earn the money and being able to spend it on something that they are excited about… creating great practices now is only going to be beneficial for the future,” said Theodoro.
She encourages families to have open and honest conversations about money, paying bills, and making smart spending decisions.
As the kids get older you can highlight the importance of saving money and maybe even start a bank account for them so they can put the money they’ve earned aside.
Theodoro said kids absorb everything and your financial habits can influence how they deal with money in the future.