Inflation will likely continue to be the biggest challenge for monthly budgets
Uncertainty about inflation and the U.S. economy have many in Oregon and Southwest Washington evaluating their financial situation heading into 2023. But analysts say such reviews are an important annual exercise, regardless of larger economic conditions. OnPoint Community Credit Union has recommended five New Year’s financial resolutions to help.
“The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your current financial situation, ask important questions and make necessary adjustments to achieve financial wellness,” said Natalie Berning, financial advisor with OnPoint Investment Services/Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. at OnPoint Community Credit Union. “While the economic road ahead is unknown, the fundamentals of personal finance remain the same. Careful planning and budgeting can help you prepare for whatever is to come.”
Inflation will likely continue to be the biggest challenge for monthly budgets, so OnPoint recommends the following financial New Year’s resolutions to help Oregonians and Southwest Washingtonians review and update their personal finances for 2023:
Conduct an annual financial inventory
Take stock of your financial status and ask essential questions: Can we continue to spend as we did last year, or do we need to adjust our budgets? Do we need to look at our investments versus our cash on hand? Conducting a financial inventory can help you identify the gaps you need to close. OnPoint recommends checking on your:
- Credit report for signs of fraud or any unnecessary credit cards that may still be open.
- Budget and emergency savings fund.
- Estate plan to make sure beneficiaries are up to date and carried over to all accounts.
- Asset allocation and retirement progress.
- Life/long-term care insurance.
Hit the reset button
Conducting a proactive budgeting exercise at the start of the year can help you prepare for future economic changes and create a roadmap to achieve updated goals. Reconsider every area of your spending, reprioritize based on your goals and the broader economic picture, and reallocate where needed. OnPoint recommends starting by:
- Reviewing and adjusting your spending as it relates to your income.
- Giving every dollar a job, earmarking where your money is being spent, saved or invested.
- Balancing your cash reserves, building in flexibility to leave cash on hand if needed.
- Rebalancing your portfolio, reviewing your asset allocations and making changes if they no longer represent your strategic investment decisions.
Digitize and organize financial records
We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with paper copies of all our critical financial documents. They become too easy to lose, misplace, or worse, get destroyed. Invest in a good scanner or mobile app, make digital copies of all your financial documents and save them in secure, organized and accessible computer files so they can be retrieved and viewed when needed. Be thoughtful about naming each document file with a name that’s easy to find.
Have a family conversation
Discuss your decisions with those impacted. It’s important for everyone in the family to know and understand why certain changes may be occurring and what it means for them. For instance, if family vacations may need to be downsized, ensure everyone understands the tradeoff.
Go easy on yourself
While the current economy presents financial challenges, OnPoint encourages people to avoid putting undue stress on themselves. View this as a process that should be taken one step at a time rather than a to-do list that must all be done right away. Understanding your financial outlook and making proactive adjustments described above can help reduce financial anxiety and set you up for a more financially sustainable new year.
While the beginning of 2023 presents Oregon and Southwest Washington with many financial unknowns, people can protect their finances by being prepared, flexible and organized. If you’d like more personalized help creating a budget or advice on monitoring your spending, visit any of OnPoint’s 55 branch locations, where our knowledgeable staff is ready to find the best solution for you and your family.
About OnPoint Community Credit Union
OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 500,000 members and with assets of $9.1 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.
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