Many of us hope to turn over a new leaf with the new year’s arrival, and getting your finances in order is a resolution that’s worth sticking with. The good news is that the team at The Establishment by MassMutual New York State has a variety of free classes and other supports to help you see this one through.
“The most common resolution that people have is to get their financial situation on the right track,” said Derek Szczupakowski, financial services professional for MassMutual New York State. “That can mean anything from paying off debt, to saving for retirement or a child’s education, to getting their Will and estate planning documents in place.”
However, Szczupakowski points out that a financial resolution does little good if it doesn’t come paired with a thoughtful strategy for execution. He notes that those who take the time to craft a plan and write it down are far more likely to stick to their resolution and achieve success.
“The best way to get started is to allocate some time to creating your plan,” he said. “The average American spends significantly more time planning their vacations every year than they do planning for their financial futures. Create some goals for what you want to achieve in 2019, and write down exactly how you’re going to get there. That way, when the ball drops to ring in 2020, you’ll feel very accomplished, which will likely motivate you to plan even bigger and better things next year. As always, the best way to get started is…. To get started.”
During this time of year, the most common financial hurdle that people are facing is paying off the debt they incurred from holiday purchases. Szczupakowski says that rather than let the holiday debt cycle keep repeating year after year, use the experience as an opportunity to create a better strategy for next time.
“Unfortunately, at this point, we can’t go back and un-spend the money, but we can use it as a lesson for next year,” he said. “Set a gift buying budget and stick to it. Going into debt to finance your holidays is not a good idea.”
For those looking to get the process rolling – whether it’s tackling that post-holiday debt or creating a broader plan of attack, The Establishment’s free classes are a great place to start. They have a wide variety of courses that are useful to everyone from the complete novice to someone tackling a more complex financial goal.
“We have guests from all sorts of different backgrounds, professions and ages all looking to learn more about how they can be better with their finances,” said Marissa Dinello, director of marketing. “And a bonus, classes at The Establishment are fun. Our educational sessions take place in a unique classroom setting where we eat, drink and socialize with others.”
“We offer 12 classes that cover topics like money management, student loans, home buying, retirement planning, investing and insurance,” she said. “They are offered monthly on a rotating basis.”
Some of the most popular classes include “Creating a Budget,” “Wine and Investing 101 and 102,” and “Couples and Money.” The Establishment also recently launched two new class topics. “Females and Finance” explores the unique financial challenges facing women and how to address them. “Crafting Cocktails and Financial Plans” pairs a cocktails guru with a financial educator, alternating doses of information on how to create your personal financial map with tips on how to create the drink that’s perfect for you, too.
The first step is to find a class (or two) that fits your personal financial goals and jump in. A quick visit to The Establishment’s website will give you a full breakdown of the classes offered and what’s on the schedule in the coming months. Even though the classes are free, they try to keep the class size intimate, so you will need to reserve a spot beforehand.
In addition to the topic-specific material covered in the class, you’ll also have an opportunity to schedule a 30-Minute Financial Checkup with a financial advisor to go a little more in depth about your financial needs and goals. This is a huge bonus in terms of identifying your priorities and writing down a real plan of attack as Szczupakowski suggested.
“Participating in a checkup is a great step towards understanding what an individual needs to do in order to accomplish their financial goals,” Dinello said. “Through MassMutual New York State, our financial advisors can also build out a financial plan specifically around an individual’s unique situation and goals.”
To learn more about The Establishment and the various financial tools they offer, visit their website at www.theestablishmentnys.com.
This content is part of a sponsored series in partnership with MassMutual New York State.