January is Financial Wellness Month, a time for all of us to take stock of our finances and help ensure our future financial health.
So why January for Financial Wellness Month?
Good question. And there's a whole lot of answers.
January is when those nasty little credit card bills come due - you know, the ones that were racked up over Christmas? Now's the time to pay the piper - or credit card companies.
It's also one of the coldest times of year, which means those heat bills will be about as high as at any time of the year.
It's also a time when the need for car repairs becomes a little more obvious. Cold weather shrinks seals, making leaks more obvious. Thermostats go bad. Any of a number of things can happen.
It's also that time of year when we start thinking about paying our tax bills - ouch!
Given all those negatives, maybe it's time to look at some of the positives.
We can consider this a good time of year to make some positive changes, one of which could be planning our finances for the upcoming year.
Budgeting our expenses is a great way to keep them from coming back to haunt us. Those unexpected car repairs, heating bills and income taxes? We can plan for those in the future by setting aside money each month to cover them.
If you're not on the budget plan to pay your heat bills, check into it. It's a great way to keep those bills consistent throughout the year. Scheduling regular maintenance for your vehicle - rather than waiting until problems require even more expensive repairs - can be a great way to keep them from getting out of hand. And keeping track of your expenses so you can write off all the deductions to which you're entitled can make the difference between a tax liability and a refund.
Budgeting now can make a huge difference at the end of the year.
It's something you can count on.