Financial tips for starting the year right

For many, the new year is a time for promises and planning. From healthy eating to spending more time with family, new year’s resolutions help you start off on the right foot. So when planning for the year ahead, be sure to add improving your financial health to your list.

Origin Bank is here to help you start the year off right with tips to help you achieve financial peace of mind.

1. Get organized. A new year means a great opportunity to form new habits and a chance to get organized. If you pay bills via check, set up a folder system so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Set aside any tax-related documents so you’re not scrambling come April. And to really up your organizational game, take advantage of resources like Origin's Personal Financial Management tool with easy online access to help you keep track of your spending.

2. Evaluate and optimize. A good financial plan starts with a thorough checkup. Take a long hard look at your current checking, savings, and money market accounts to ensure your money is working for you. Here are some numbers to keep in mind: according to Time, high-yield savings accounts average 3.37% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). However, some high-earning accounts can surpass 4.00% APY. Refamiliarize yourself with your own rates and returns to determine if making a switch is in your best financial interest. Check out your bank's money market and time deposit products, like Origin's Certificate of Deposit (CD), as they often offer a higher APY than typical savings accounts.

3. Make a plan for paying down debt. From student loans to maxed-out credit cards, getting out of debt can be tough, but it’s important to your financial future. Start by reviewing your debt and plan to pay down your highest interest rate accounts first. Once they're paid off, use those newly freed funds to pay down other debts. Writing down your debt and analyzing exactly where you’re overspending can also help stop you from acquiring more debt.

4. Automate your savings. When it comes to saving money, automation can help you meet your goals with ease. Take a look at your expenses and determine how much money you want (or can afford) to set aside each month. Then, set up an automatic withdrawal plan that routes money to your savings account. This way, your savings are consolidated and secure, but still accessible in case of an emergency.

Need more advice on setting the stage for financial wellness? Origin's Trusted Advisors are available 24/7 to assist with your financial needs. Be sure to check out our blog for more advice on how to achieve good financial health in the new year.