The New Year brings new goals and resolutions. At Jovia, we’re here to give you financial help and support. We have outlined some of the most popular financial resolutions and broken them down into concrete steps to help you implement each change in your life.

Build a budget to cut back on spending:

Creating and sticking to a monthly budget will help keep you accountable for your spending while giving you a clear idea of your financial reality.

Here’s how you can build a budget:

Tracking your spending once a month or even once every 3 months is ideal. There are many ways to keep track of your finances, whether with a spreadsheet, a pen and paper, or a personal finance app like Jovia’s MX Money Management tool (available in online and mobile banking). Keeping track of how you spend money is imperative to budgeting. Breaking down your spending into categories can help you visually see where your money is being used, and you can create realistic budgets for each category. If the budget you created reveals that your monthly income doesn’t cover your expenses, or that you’re overspending in any area, look for other ways where you can cut back. After building your budget, try your best to stick to it, and you’ll be a budgeting master!

Take small steps to get out of debt:

Carrying long-term debt can mean paying larger amounts of interest for years on end and can also negatively impact your credit score.

Work on becoming debt-free in three steps:

  • Make a complete list of all your outstanding debts in order from smallest balance to largest.
  • Review your monthly budget and look for ways to cut back.
  • Work on paying off your smallest debt with the money you trimmed from your budget or with the extra income you’re pulling in. Once you’ve paid off that debt, move on to the second smallest. Repeat until you’re completely debt-free.

Start saving:

According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 expense. Living without a safety net means a relatively small, unexpected expense can throw off your finances and force you into debt. Aside from paying for emergencies, savings can help fund your long-term plans, goals, and dreams.

Three tips for smarter saving:

  • Small savings can make a huge difference. At Jovia, you can enroll in Stash My Cash, which helps you save without doing any work! Every time you use your Jovia debit card, we’ll round up your purchase to the nearest whole dollar and deposit it into a separate account. Learn how to set up Stash my Cash.
  • Open an emergency fund and a long-term savings fund, like a certificate account. While both are important, it is best to focus primarily on your emergency fund until you have 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses stashed away.
  • Set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings accounts so you never forget to feed your savings. You can also set up direct deposit, so a portion of your paycheck can automatically go into your savings account. Learn how to set up direct deposit here, plus at Jovia you may be able to get your paycheck up to two days early.

Maximize your retirement contributions:

Many workplaces offer to match 401(k) contributions. These contributions are taken from your paycheck tax-free, making participation an excellent decision. Your 401(k) withdrawals will be taxed in the future, but the compound interest your fund will accumulate until then should more than offset this cost.

Tips for building up your retirement fund:

  • Speak to an HR representative at your workplace to learn about your current 401(k) contributions and the options available.
  • If you have any other retirement funds, such as an IRA or a Roth IRA, also review your contributions to determine if you are making the maximum funding allowed. Check out the types of retirement funds available here at Jovia.

Let Jovia help you meet your money goals this year. Together, we can make this the year you take control of your finances and start working towards a financially comfortable future.