It is still early in the year and now is a great time to take a hard look at your finances. It’s critical to evaluate your financial wellness throughout the year to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success now and in the future.

Now

Think about how much control you have over your day-to-day and month-to-month finances. Are you able to pay your bills and/or rent on time? Is your debt manageable? Can you easily make choices to enjoy life like going out to dinner or buying concert tickets?

If you can confidently answer yes to those questions, then you are probably secure financially for the present. There should be a certain degree of freedom around the financial choices you make in the present to enjoy your hard earned money, but it’s also important to balance that freedom with a plan to meet your financial goals. If you answered no to any of those questions, or could not confidently answer yes, you probably have some work to do to secure your financial wellness. You may want to examine your relationship with money and how you use it to see whether you are managing it efficiently.

Later

Now let’s plan ahead – for both positive and not so positive outcomes. Do you have an “emergency fund” for unexpected expenses that could come up? Could you handle an unplanned expense like a car repair, sick pet, trip to the emergency room or busted cell phone?

No one enjoys thinking about these kinds of things, but a lot of what happens is out of our control. But at the same time, we do have more control if we think ahead and set ourselves up for the future. If you have an “emergency fund” set-up, you’ll have a cushion to fall back on if times get tough and you don’t have as much flexibility with your money. While you should always have an emergency fund, there are also major life milestones that you can successfully plan for like marriage, purchasing a home, having a child, going back to school or retirement.

It’s important to have control over day to day finances to build capacity to absorb financial shock, but it’s equally important to make financial choices that allow you to enjoy life while being on track to meet those financial goals. Paying attention to your financial wellness is a key to maintaining your financial situation throughout your life.

Marquette Bank is here to provide you with useful tips and strategies to make 2017 a financially successful year, stay tuned! 
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