This New Year focus on financial health: Tips to becoming financially fit – Afro American


AFRO American Newspapers
The Black Media Authority
By Michelle Lawrence, Chase Community and Business Development Executive Director
Whether you’re looking to becoming financially independent, planning for a long awaited vacation, or saving for a down payment to buy your first home, we want 2022 to become the year you became familiar with some of the tools and skills to help make your financial journey as smooth as possible. 
Managing your money can be overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. Understanding things like balancing a check book, budgeting, saving, and even building your credit score are skills that can help you at any stage of your life. Even in these difficult times with the pandemic when so many of us are facing greater uncertainty around our finances and job security, it is these types of moments where understanding core financial skills can be the difference maker. 
Set Goals. It’s not about what you make, it’s about what you keep. A dollar put into a savings account with compounded interest, will be worth more tomorrow. Set an end goal for your money, maybe it’s treating yourself to a fancy dinner once a month, or something larger such as saving for a home, car or a wedding. Goals are important because they can help impact the thinking behind your spending. 
Utilize Investing Tools. Chase’s Autosave allows customers to make automatic transfers to savings accounts. From $10 a week or $100 a month, you choose how much money you want to save and in what cadence. When the money never enters your checking account, you’re a lot less likely to spend it.
Chase’s financial goals hub offers an interactive calculator that maps out a timeline to reach savings goals and highlights how the Autosave tool can help you manage a regular savings schedule to stay on track and meet your goals. Other resources are also available, such as budget worksheets to monitor and track monthly spending, guidance on using the Credit Journey tool to build and protect credit, as well as background on low-cost checking accounts designed to provide access for anyone who has had trouble getting or keeping an account in the past.
Ask Your Local Advocates. In Washington D.C. and Baltimore, we’ve hired three community managers – a new role created by the bank – who work with the community and small businesses to increase awareness of available resources, and help connect you with financial health tools, products and services. 
With our new Community Center Branch in Skyland Town Center, consumers can learn more about interactive programs on topics such as budget building, home buying tips, interview and job search skills, or how to fund a small business. Unlike traditional branches, these localized hubs are designed specifically for the community and with the intent to close gaps in access to financial education, resources and access to capital for reaching milestones like buying a house, starting a small business or paying for education.
Reserved Capital for Minority Business Owners. 41% of Black-owned businesses shut their doors due to the Pandemic, and COVID-19 has only worsened the disparities and inequities that demand an intentional reprioritization of capital. Through our Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, in partnership with the Washington Area Community Investment Fund and the Latino Economic Development Center, JPMorgan Chase is working to provide more access to capital to future entrepreneurs, existing business owners and communities who have historically and unfairly struggled to secure it.
Equitable Home Lending. Home equity is also a major contributor to families’ wealth, making it imperative that we increase property ownership among Black communities. One way we hope to do this is through our Chase DreaMaker mortgage, which makes applying for your first mortgage or refinancing a current one more attainable with a smaller down payment, and by offering reduced mortgage insurance, more flexibility around your credit score, potential assistance grants and homebuyer education courses. 
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 or keep on track to ensure you meet your goals. 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. Financial health is a journey, and we can help you think about a plan for now and the future. 
For more resources, information and access to tools that can help you achieve your financial goals and milestones, visit chase.com/personal/financial-goals
Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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