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National Financial Wellness Month

Happy New Year! January happens to be Financial Wellness Month, the perfect time for resolutions geared toward meeting your financial goals!

From assessing your financial strategy needs to any adjustments or changes based on your lifestyle, the Curran Team is here to help.

What does "Financial Wellness" mean to you?

This can vary drastically from person to person. A person who has had serious financial troubles in their life might have different expectations than a person who has enjoyed relative financial stability.

First, ask yourself what you need to feel secure, financially speaking. Often we are only sure of what is needed to cover our immediate expenses and are unaware of detrimental spending habits as they form .

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How much should you have saved?
  • How much income should you be bringing in each month?
  • Where are you with your debt?
  • Would things be simpler if you carried less debt?
  • How fluid is your cash flow when it comes to expenses that are not urgent (taking your family out to dinner or on a small trip) versus larger financial goals (such as buying a new kitchen appliance)?
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, will you be able to retire at your target age?

These questions help paint a realistic picture for your financial wellness. Our Private Wealth Managers (PWMs) work with you to eliminate the guesswork and create projections with your current goals in mind.

Financial Wellness Goals

As mentioned above, financial wellness is often a matter of setting goals. What can you accomplish now? What can be implemented into your larger financial strategy, now and in the future? For now, consider taking these actions:

  • Ensure your expenses are accounted for – include all your spending habits. Often we record only the things we want to.
  • Consider automating payments, especially for regular items such as student loans, credit cards, and other installment payments.
  • Create an emergency fund reflecting 3–6 months of household expenses. This will help establish a stable foundation going forward. Build the fund a month at a time until you reach your goal.
  • Make regular contributions to your retirement accounts. Take advantage of any matching contributions you might get from your employer.
  • Make long-term financial goals. If you are thinking in terms of buying a house, for instance, let that guide your overall financial strategy.
  • Is becoming totally debt free an achievable goal? It can be - if you make it a priority. That said, being totally debt free can be a difficult task for many households. If that is the case, focus on your other goals first and make debt freedom a target for a later date. Many investors target being debt free by retirement. Our PWMs can assist in prioritizing your goals.

These are, of course, not hard and fast rules. As mentioned above, every individual has their own specific definition of financial wellness. Some of these examples might feel like a long reach. Others, you may already be practicing. The good news is that with careful practice and judicious scrutiny, many people can gain a feeling of satisfaction (and even pleasure) from maintaining financial wellness.

As always, the Curran team is here to help you. Reach out to your PWM with any questions you may have. 

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Curran

Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer