This article is sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
A year into the pandemic, many people have experienced changes in how they manage their money. With different spending needs and, in some cases changes in income, balancing budgets, saving, and monitoring credit have become top of mind, as underscored by our recent Digital Banking Attitudes study.
“No matter where you are financially, budgeting and saving are two key habits that can help all of us bounce back from life’s unexpected moments,” said Lawrence Bailey, head of financial health and community development for Chase. “Another important habit is understanding how credit works and what goes into a score. That is why we are here to help everyone have open conversations about what it means to become financially healthy and provide support, tools and advice to get there.”
Chase has launched a new Financial Health website with information and tools designed to support with budgeting, saving and tracking credit scores. To help consumers further manage changing financial needs, here are a few tips to staying financially healthy:
• Build a budget to meet your needs.
Three in four people have concerns about creating a budget that’s flexible and realistic for how they live. It’s a good practice to update your budget frequently to gain a clear understanding of where and how you can give and take. There are digital tools that can help keep an eye on your expenses and income, and allow you to find gaps or ways to save.
• Use technology to help keep you on track. Over a third of your credit score is based on on-time payments. Financial technology can help you with managing your bills and how you get paid. Automate all you can, and set up transaction alerts for deposits and withdrawals. If you use the Chase Mobile app, we have videos that can help you set these up.
• Monitor and protect your credit.
Nearly 75% of Americans are concerned about improving their credit score. Some actions can impact your credit more than others, and having a clear picture of your credit score is critical. Sign up to Credit Journey for free. This is important if you are considering applying for a loan or a credit card, or refinancing debt or your home loan.
• Set aside savings, when possible.
Eighty-nine percent of Americans have concerns about preparing for unexpected expenses. Having money set aside in an emergency fund can help you find peace of mind. Also, by saving regularly, you’ll have the financial flexibility to help take on your goals in 2021 and beyond. Use an online calculator to see how your savings are tracking. Even setting aside a few dollars a week can help you prepare for the unexpected, and save for short- and long-term plans.
• Stay alert to scams.
Scams continue to remain prevalent. To stay up to date, see the Federal Trade Commission’s advice. It is smart to triple-check any social message, email, or solicitation you get. Know that Chase won’t ask for confidential information—such as your name, password, PIN, or other account information—if we reach out to you.
• Look into payment programs if you need help.
If you are worried about making payments, contact your home loan, car, or credit card company and ask if they have any payment relief programs. For example, Chase customers can find support at COVID-19 including options to defer payments or get relief on their credit card, or car or home loans.
Financial health is a journey, and we can help you think about a plan for now and the future. Also, remember you can reach out to community organizations and city and state resources that can help connect you to aide if you need it.
For resources, tools and information on how to manage your budget, grow your savings and build your credit, please visit chase.com/personal/financial-goals.