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New Year, New Money Habits

When entering a new year, many of us look forward to implementing new healthy habits into our daily lives. One of these New Year’s resolutions should be to prioritize new money habits for the upcoming year. These simple yet effective changes can be implemented today to make the most of your money in the new year and beyond.

Set Goals

Goal setting gives direction, make it a habit to look at your monthly finances and jot down goals. These goals could be things like taking a bite out of your credit card balances or setting aside a small amount each month for a large purchase.

Budget Like You Mean It

Part of the budgeting process is doing a financial analysis of your income, expenses, and investments. There are plenty of personal finance websites and apps that can help with budgeting, including our very own at There are also plenty of free budgeting templates, try ours on our website under forms/Budget_WorkSheet, or you could opt for a simple pad of paper and pen.

Pay Yourself First

Paying yourself first generally means "paying" your future self-money. An easy way to pay yourself first is by contributing to a 401(k), especially if your employer offers matching contributions. It can also mean putting money into a savings account or an emergency fund before you pay for other expenses, a good rule of thumb is 10%. 

Save First, Spend Second

Take the thinking out of saving by setting up automatic deductions from your paycheck. Transfer the appropriate funds to your savings accounts and whatever you have left is for your monthly expenses and discretionary funds. By prioritizing saving before spending, you won’t feel as guilty when you do spend money. 

family saves money in a piggy bank

Live Within Your Means

It isn’t a question of if you can afford it or not but rather, should you take on that expense? Just because you could afford to upgrade to a bigger apartment doesn’t mean you should. Doing so might hinder your ability to save for other things, like buying a house instead of continuing to rent, or contributing more toward your retirement fund.

Deal With Debt

Listing out all your monthly debt payments helps you stay aware and act if needed. Try our Debt Consolidation Calculator. If you are in the habit of only making minimum payments on your credit card balances or experiencing collection calls, consider enacting a debt management plan to help support healthy money habits. Or give us a call at 303.234.1700 and to submit a request for a Financial Coaching session.  

Don’t Ignore Your Retirement

Contributing to your retirement early on is extremely beneficial because it allows your funds to get the most out of compound interest. Make it a goal to set aside 10% of your income each month for retirement. If your employer matches up to 4% of your annual income, then you would only need to contribute 6% of your income to pay yourself 10% of your income for retirement.

mature couple signs will

Make A Will

Having a will is important, especially if you have a lot of assets. If you don’t have a will, you should resolve to make one this year. You don’t have to hire an attorney to create a will, there are online will makers that cost very little, like Quicken Willmaker & Trust and LegalZoom, that can help you with this resolution.

Alternatively, if you would like more professional guidance, we partner with Hughes Law Firm to provide free webinars on Wills & Trusts throughout the year. Check our event calendar regularly to see when they are available. Additionally, they offer a free consultation and special member discounts on their services. For any questions, give them a call 303.423.8423.

Complete Bite-Sized Financial Literacy Lessons

Make learning financial topics enjoyable by leveraging fun activities and games. Check out It’s a Money Thing, our free financial education videos that make learning about money easy for people of all ages! Or try Enrich, a personalized financial education program with interactive assessments based on your own knowledge, skills, and behavior surrounding money management (for ages over 16).

Consistently Reevaluate Your Plan

Even the best financial plans should be reevaluated on a regular basis. What improvements to your finances are you noticing? Are these areas where you are coming up short? Don’t be afraid to seek help from a financial professional. They may be able to offer you additional tactics and planning to help you reach your financial potential. Give us a call at 303.234.1700 and to submit a request for a Financial Coaching session. 

Additionally, we offer access to our own Financial Advisor Shelley Hertel in Credit Union of Denver’s Investment & Retirement Center. Contact Shelley at 303.239.1179 or

You don’t need to wait for a raise or a winning lottery ticket to get on the path toward financial success. Tackle one habit at a time and celebrate your wins! You recognized the need to improve your finances and the New Year is sure to be a success when you begin implementing these health money habits.

Let us know what you found to be most helping in reaching your money management goals. Share your story on our Facebook page. Good luck and we are here to help as you need.


Sources and enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

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