In 2019, many Loudouners are planning for a “better me” in the year ahead. Gym memberships and diets are at the top of many lists, but what about financial health? Losing debt can be just as important as losing pounds, and financial fitness just as important as physical fitness.
According to a new survey from Marcus.com by Goldman Sachs, 74 percent of Americans think their financial well-being has an impact on their overall health and 64 percent feel they are not in the best financial shape they could be. On top of that, half of those surveyed (50 percent) think it’s easier to get into better physical shape than financial shape and 59 percent consider tracking expenses and budgeting to be more stressful than trying a new workout.
Although New Year’s resolutions to improve financial fitness may seem daunting, they are achievable, and their effects can be significant. While it is important to pump iron and feel great physically, it is equally beneficial to pump up your savings and take steps to secure your financial future. Here are five simple ways to help achieve better financial fitness in 2019:
- Trim down debt: Eliminating debt is a worthy goal shared by many – 78 percent of those surveyed would rather get rid of their debt than lose weight. Consider instead a debt consolidation personal loan such as those provided by Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which offers fixed-rate, no-fee personal loans that could help save on interest when compared to high-interest variable-rate credit cards.
- Set a realistic budget: Every financial fitness plan should start by establishing a budget that is both effective and achievable. The first step in creating one is to identify your essentials like mortgage or rent, car payments, tuition loans – and determine how much each of these expenses cost you per month. Next, average your spending in key categories that occur on an ongoing basis, such as food, gas, clothing, commuting costs and your gym membership. Combine those two figures to determine what your actual expenses and monthly budget are, and any money left over can be considered discretionary. Part of each month’s discretionary budget should be dedicated in advance to savings. Financial fitness introduces a level of discipline to help people make a proactive commitment to saving each month.
- Shred unwanted subscriptions: With a budget in place, it’s all about tracking expenses and ensuring that your spending aligns with what your budget requires. There are many free tools that can help do the work, such as the personal financial management app Clarity Money, which monitors recurring expenses and helps with eliminating unwanted subscriptions. Keeping a tighter rein on your spending makes it easier to trim costs and stick to your budget year-round.
- Pump up your savings: Look for savings accounts with higher rates that can help your money make more money. A high-yield Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs can earn 4X the national average, with a 2.25 percent APY (annual percentage yield). There is no minimum deposit required, making it an easy way to begin growing your savings with the cash you already have.
- Find a workout partner: Working out with a partner at the gym helps to establish shared goals, while encouraging accountability. The same is true for financial fitness. Your path to better financial health could accelerate if you can partner with a family member, friend or significant other who’s also interested in their financial well-being. Plan monthly check-ins, arrange mini-competitions for saving more and organize “no spend days” together. You’ll keep each other responsible and build positive mutual support along the way.
About the Authors
The Loudoun community is very familiar Suhile “Adam” and Lucia Alami.
Adam and Lucia are a Dynamic Duo Realtor and Mortgage Loan Officer team. As experts in their fields, they advise clients on what is typically their largest life purchases and investments.
In turn, they have a passion for the community they serve and as many know, are founders of one of the largest social media networking groups, Real Husbands of Loudoun County (RHOLC). Based on the trends for giving back to the community and popularity of the RHOLC, they recently formed a 501c3 non-profit, the RHOLC Foundation.
According to Adam, through the RHOLC Foundation, the amount of assistance they can offer the community has increased exponentially. They are already proudly creating collaborations with other non-profits in the area.
“We are making great things happen through boundless community support,” said Adam.
It’s because of the community’s support over the years that their underlying businesses have been able to give back to the community. In fact, giving back is a core belief.
Adam’s Alami Real Estate under Keller Williams Realty located in Ashburn, VA, continues to give back to the community with exclusive incentives to Veterans, police officers, teachers, county employees, parents with special needs kids and families dealing with hardship.
“We see ourselves and have positioned our business as the community’s preferred choice,” said Adam.
According to Lucia, Alami Real Estate’s strategic partner, Embrace Home Loans is a big part of their success with their competitive rates, loan products and attractive first time home buyers programs.
“Plus, you’ll never have to worry about closing delays with our thorough upfront pre-approval process which is second to none,” said Lucia. Alami Real Estate is also happy to announce Joe Sable joining their team. Together they will continue to maintain the outstanding service as they continue to grow in Loudoun.
For all your real estate needs and to learn more about RHOLC and the community’s preferred choice real estate partner in 2019, please visit:
Alami Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty | Loudoun Gateway
20130 Lakeview Center Plaza, Suite 110
Ashburn, Virginia 20147