2020 was rough on many of our wallets. In 2021—many worked to turn things around.
"There was certainly some job transition. We didn’t see the struggle that we saw back in 2020," said Nicholle Overkamp, CEO at Wilcox Financial Group, LLC.
She and Sarah Blankenship, COO walk people through finances and budgeting at their location in Amherst every day. They say there’s never a bad time to talk about money.
"Where should I put my money, where should I be saving it, should I pay this first or that first. So we help people work through all of those questions," said Blankenship.
So how do you keep on the right track with your money in 2022? Here are 7 tips.
Tip #1: Start from scratch
Think about what you actually want and create a plan of action behind it.
"Be intentional with every dollar, make sure you're putting your money where your goals are and thinking that through so you can actually achieve those goals," said Overkamp.
Finding out what's important and how to achieve it gives you a clear path to money management.
Tip #2: Prioritize your spending
“Reassess what is important to you, stop spending money on stuff that really doesn’t make you super happy, stuff you don’t love. Get rid of subscriptions you aren’t using and reallocate those dollars to something that really makes you happy," said Blankenship.
Tip #3: Make your budget AKA spending plan
Just doing the budget is the biggest step. Don't feel like you're being restricted, but know where your money is going and write it all down.
"Start setting goals for those dollars, start putting money toward whatever's important to you," said Blankenship.
Tip #3: Put yourself first
"It sounds counter-intuitive to a lot of us to do what’s right for us before we do what’s right for our family, our children, our friends, but by focusing on what’s important to you, you are then able to help the others around you," said Blankenship
And don't compare your financial plan to others.
Tip #4: Find ways to ease the stress
It can be a big strain on relationships, so break everything down to build it back up. And take your time doing it.
“Money is something you can control, it’s something you have the ability to do with it what you want. Seeing what you’re capable of achieving is really fun if you take that perspective,” said Overkamp.
Tip #5: Take advantage of low interest rates
There's a low interest rate environment right now, so they say it's a great time to audit what you're paying on interest, credit cards, even your mortgage and consider refinancing.
"With that low interest rate, inflation is really high so for anyone who is sitting on extra money you're not going to use...it's a good time to consider an investment strategy so your money is outpacing inflation rates," said Overkamp.
Tip #7: Take advantage of extra cash opportunities in 2022
Student loans are on pause through May, so there may be some opportunities there. If someone had a raise then maybe they want to consider raising contributions on retirement plans.
"Then of course tax time comes and there’s always people who have refunds and making sure you’re making a really smart choice with that money," said Blankenship.
For more information or help from Wilcox, click here.