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Tools to Manage and Assess Personal Financial Wellness

Are you interested in strengthening your personal finance skills, but you’re not sure where to start? Before you undertake the next financial milestone in your life, it is important that you have the proper tools and resources to be fully prepared for this new step. We want to share with you a variety of educational resources that can help you develop a strong foundation of knowledge that you can apply to managing your personal financial wellness. Whether you are trying to get out of credit card debt or are preparing to start an emergency fund, having the capability to assess your financial health will help you learn from past financial mistakes and grow better habits for the future.

Since there are many tools to choose from, we want to give you an overview of the most user-friendly ones that can help you navigate your financial planning without facing unexpected fees or unnecessary stress. It is important to be aware that different financial institutions will offer unique products, so make sure you investigate what your bank or credit union provides for you.

What Exactly is Personal Financial Wellness, and Why Is It Important?

As we dive into ways to make managing your money easier, we need to understand the impact our personal financial wellness has on our decisions. Everyone has a different view of what they think financial health should be, but we want to clarify which lens is the best for you to see your own situation. To start off, it is important to note that your own journey could look completely different from your friends or family members. If you make less money or have more debt, that doesn’t mean you’re not financially healthy. The aim isn’t perfection, it’s maintaining and growing your financial security.

The key to personal financial wellness is being able to live within your means. You want to be able to tackle any personal loans or other outstanding debts without overwhelming stress to keep you from making wise financial choices. Despite how much money you may have, having the discipline to manage your finances calmly and intentionally is a skill that will help you grow your wealth and financial stability. Here are a few reasons why regularly checking in on your personal financial wellness is important:

  • Reveals overspending. As you notice patterns in your financial behavior, you’ll be able to recognize your spending habits and how to alter them.
    Decreases stress. You’ll no longer be in the dark about for how your choices are impacting your financial well-being. This can help you feel more prepared and equipped to know how to manage your money.
  • Provides accountability. Since you’re learning what kind of impact your actions have on your financial future, you can get the guidance you need from financial counselors on how to combat your weaknesses and grow in your strengths.
  • Builds wealth. Knowledge is power when it comes to saving your money and taking care of your financial health by putting actions to words.

What Tools Help Manage Personal Finances Effectively?

As you deepen your knowledge of what it means to be financially responsible, there are several tools that can assist and challenge you to live out these habits practically.

  1. Financial Wellness Counseling

One of the best ways to assess your personal finances is to meet with a financial counselor. These meetings could be an in-person appointment or phone call. Being able to vocalize your financial worries and dreams out loud could reveal the most important financial goals you want to reach. You might be surprised about what concerns have been on your mind, and your financial counselor can help you walk through how to build a budget or how to consolidate your credit. They can help you create a strategic financial plan that is personalized for your specific needs and wants.

  1. Financial Education Programs

Deepen your understanding of money management tools, savings tips, and how to craft financial objectives for your future by participating in a financial education program. These programs are available on-demand for you to use, and they typically include articles and videos.

  1. Money Management Tools

Money management doesn’t have to be confusing or frustrating. Since there are so many different facets of financial planning, it is helpful to have one place where you can keep all your financial information. Money management tools are typically mobile apps or online banking sites that show an overview of your finances, whether it’s your monthly budget or spending trackers. They are quick and easy to access. A few other features they could include are:

  • Debt payoff forecasting
  • Auto-created budgets
  • Cash flow calendar
  • Building long-term savings goals
  • Credit score monitoring
  1. Financial Calculators

Once you’ve been able to better understand what you want to achieve in your financial future, you need to be able to assess what steps you’ll need to take to get there. Financial calculators are useful tools to help you see how much time and money you’ll need to designate to your financial responsibilities. If you’re looking to purchase a car or want to take an extended family vacation, a savings goal calculator can show you how much money you’ll need to set aside and how long it will take until you reach your goal. Loan payment calculators reveal what payments you can handle within your monthly budget, and a mortgage buydown calculator could help you discover how to move forward with your homebuying journey.

Before you make your final decision about which tools will work for you, keep researching! If you’re reading this blog, you’ve already begun this step. It is important to research a variety of financial institutions and offers to compare what options are best for you. As you begin to assess which tools can help you achieve your goals, you can narrow down which ones are the most applicable to your needs. To expand your research further, listen to financial wellness podcasts or read more articles to deepen your knowledge of personal finance.

Are There Any Free Tools Available for Tracking Expenses and Income?

We know there can be a lot of hidden fees or requirements for financial resources. No one should have to pay money to improve their financial literacy. Most, if not all, the financial tools we’ve shared with you are completely free. Whether you’re scheduling an in-person financial counseling appointment or downloading a mobile app to access a spending tracker, your access to financial education is crucial for your financial well-being.

The only requirement to keep in mind is that for some financial management tools, such as a credit monitoring app or spending tracker, you may need to be a member or customer with your financial institution and have money in an account. They won’t be able to provide you with an assessment of your financial situation without your permission.

How Secure Are Personal Financial Management Tools?

Since most personal financial management tools are online or on a mobile app, it is important to be aware of security risks that could come with using them. You may want to use whatever your bank or credit union provides, so you know who is directly overseeing your financial information and how it is being protected. If you’re using their online banking features, you are in a safer place than an unknown website or organization. Here are some things to be cautious of when managing and accessing your money online:

  • Use complex passwords. Don’t repeat the same one for multiple sites.
  • Enable two-factor authentication so you’ll know if someone is trying to hack your account.
  • If your phone is stolen, it is important to know how to disable it so the thief doesn’t steal your financial information.
  • Remember to also disable any debt cards or credit cards you might have had on your digital wallet.

Overall, using personal financial management tools is generally a safe option for managing your finances. While there are a few things to be mindful of when accessing them, having your money and financial strategies easily accessible is a great way to keep track of your financial health every day.

Develop Your Financial Literacy with Leaders Credit Union.

No matter where you find yourself in your financial journey, you can protect and grow your financial freedom today. If you’re wanting to have better self-control with your finances, these personal financial wellness tools we’ve shared could help train you to accomplish that goal.

Are you wanting to strengthen your personal financial wellness? Leaders Credit Union offers a variety of free financial wellness resources and money management tools to help you grow your financial stability. Learn more about our services and membership benefits.