A lot of personal finance advice can become overwhelming. The vocabulary alone can be alienating and confusing for folks. However, here are five very simple things you can do to improve your finances that are not overwhelming, confusing or difficult.
One – create your own an annual financial calendar. We all have apps, Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices that we use daily. Pick a calendar that you like on a device that you regularly use and setup a personal finance calendar to remind you to pay bills, check credit card statements, review invoices, transfer money to savings, or meet with your adviser. It’s your calendar so personalize so that it is applicable to your financial life.
Two – get yourself a money buddy. If you are single, pairing up with another person to talk finance can be supportive. If you are married, sometimes having the ear of a friend other than your spouse can be a great asset. Having a money buddy can be a great way to hold yourself accountable for goals, learn new positive habits and expand your financial knowledge.
Three – create a physical or digital financial goals board with pictures. The idea is that this board is somewhere that you will see daily. The board can be physical and placed in your bathroom, bedroom, office, kitchen, etc., or it can be digital and be your laptop’s screensaver. Just make sure you see your goals daily. Have a mix of short-term and long-term goals and celebrate when you succeed.
Four – tackle your debt! Seriously, debt is a major wet towel at your money party. Keep an eye on your monthly spending and try going on an all-cash diet to avoid using credit cards and getting yourself further in debt. To build momentum on paying down debt, knock-out a couple of small debts first. Next, use the payments from those small debts and add it to your highest interest rate debt payment and pay it off next. Follow suit with your second highest interest rate debt, then your third highest, and so on until you are debt free.
Five – save more than you think you need. If you are already a saver, good job! Aim for six months of expenses saved if you are married with two incomes, and nine months if you are single, or self-employed. If you have nothing in savings, get started. You may be able to save only small amounts at first, but get started, make it a habit and save more as you pay down your debt.
On a final note, putting your financial life in order does not have to be overwhelming or time consuming. Start with one or two of the above items and then grow from there. The important thing is to set attainable goals, take action, do it consistently and build on small successes. As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you make decisions and layout a plan for getting on the road to a brighter financial future. Contact me and let’s get started! #talktometuesday #education #Hireaplanner#retirement#income#debt #savings #CFPPro #moneyhabits