This post is brought to you by The Huntington National Bank and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where 2019 went! It flew by! Between school and sports, I feel like we blinked and November hit and we’re already nearing the New Year. It’s hard to think about planning for 2020, but nonetheless it’s coming up fast. Between all the baseball games and fun family events we’ve been doing, I know I need to sit down and take the time to do a year-end Financial Checkup. Each year we try to take the time to see if we met our goals, figure out our priorities for next year, and start budgeting for things we want to do. Sometimes those items include household improvements, other times they’re vacations, and often times it’s paying down different debts or financial obligations we want to get off our books. Today I want to walk you through the things you should be considering at year end to gauge your Financial Health and set priorities for the year ahead.
What is a Financial Checkup?
Consider this…you’re driving on your way to vacation and every once in a while, you have to refer to your navigation system or map to get an idea of how far you’ve traveled, how much further you have to go, and if you’re staying on the right course. That’s what a Financial Checkup basically is for your finances. You first want to identify your goals such as setting a budget, checking to see if you’re on track for retirement, confirming that you have enough money saved up, and where you stand on any credit cards or debt you owe. Once you’ve determined your goals, then you can consider items like preparing for the unexpected with building a healthy savings in the form of an emergency fund. You also want to look into managing and growing your wealth and consider how to prioritize your goals and maybe even consider an investment strategy if you’re at that point in your life.
It all seems overwhelming, huh? And it can be. How do you know you’re on track? How can you keep track of it all? What’s the best way to create a budget?
How to keep track of your finances
For us, we do keep a spreadsheet list of all of our bills and where we are at for each paycheck, but I also like to use Huntington Bank’s Spend Setter SM and Savings Goal GetterSM tools to help me stay on track and make everything so much easier!
How does Spend Setter work, you ask?
Spend Setter help you set the monthly budget amounts you want to spend on shopping – or groceries, or restaurants, or whatever – and throughout the month, Huntington will send you an Huntington Heads Up® alert (message and data rates may apply) to help keep you on track, so you can save more.
■ Set up your budgets: Log in to create budgets for categories like dining and shopping, and subcategories like coffee shops and electronics. Spend Setter helps get you started by setting up a few budgets based on your spending history.
■ Huntington Heads Up keeps you on track: As you use your Huntington debit and credit cards, they’ll track your spending by category. Then, you’ll get an alert to let you know if your spending is on track, getting close to your limit, or went over.
■ Decide when to save & when to splurge: At the end of the month, Huntington lets you know how you did. Then you can decide what to do next. Under budget? Maybe put the extra into savings. Over budget? Maybe adjust for next month.
It’s SO helpful to have quick, daily reminders to keep you on track and mindful of your finances!!
What is Savings Goal Getter?
Huntington’s Savings Goal Getter makes saving money easier when you know where you’re going and how soon you’ll get there. Savings Goal Getter helps you visualize what you’re saving for and shows your progress along the way. You set the amount and the date you want to reach your goals, and Savings Goal Getter allocates money from your Huntington savings or money market account to each goal to help you get there.
■ See your goals, reach your goals: It’s easier to save money when you’re saving for something specific, like a new car or a family vacation. Create up to 10 goals plus an Emergency Fund for each of your Huntington savings and money market accounts.
■ Save automatically: You can set up automatic transfers of a specific amount from your Huntington checking account to your savings or money market account to make saving even easier.
■ Huntington will help you stay on track: Savings Goal Getter will show you how much you can save each week to reach your goals. And you’ll see your progress along the way.
How to put it all together
With all these tools at my disposal from my budget spreadsheet to a list of our goals for the year, and all the tools that my bank, Huntington Bank, has to offer, I am able to evaluate where we are at, set our goals online, and get daily updates and alerts from Huntington if I’m straying away too far. It helps us stay accountable and reach the financial goals that we really want to achieve.
We’ve been banking with Huntington for quite some time now and I continue to be amazed by how many tools they provide to help us manage our money the best way we can. I’m proud to be a Huntington customer.