Get Financially Healthy in the New Year
The New Year means a time to reflect and set goals for how you want to live for the next 365 days. For many people, that means trying to live healthier by cleaning up diets and exercising more. But what about financial health?
If you’re not financially healthy, there can be downsides besides the obvious monetary struggles. Financial stress is something that reportedly three-quarters of Americans deal with every year. A poll from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that 53 percent of respondents who experienced a great deal of stress said financial problems were a factor. That burden causes many people to indulge in more unhealthy habits like overeating, over drinking, or smoking. Additionally, 12 percent of Americans with high financial stress said they skipped out on regular doctor visits.
So how can you reduce your financial stress? One way is to make a plan to reduce your debt. Start by making a list of all your debt and include all of the details like interest rates and deadlines. Put it all out in front of you, on paper. Be transparent with yourself. Once you figure out what exactly what you owe, you can make a budget to start paying it off. Think about using useful tools like Mint to help and stick to the budget.
If you have your debt under control, think about giving to charity. Donations to a qualified charity are a great way to get you more financially healthy by providing deductions against your income tax. If you itemize your deductions, the actual cost of the donation is reduced by your tax savings. Giving back is easier than ever now with new technologies like DonateMate. It allows apps and websites to add a simple, secure donation button with monetary amounts as low as $5. With donation amounts that reasonable, almost everyone can find an amount they are comfortable with.
If you want a healthy change in the new year, think about trying to get financially healthy. Financial stress is a burden most Americans deal with, but it can be conquered. Make a plan to tackle your debt. Think about donating to charity. Not only will you get a tax deduction, but you’ll feel better about yourself for doing it — a win-win.