With the economic hurdles over the past 18 months, it’s easy to see how some people may have lost their financial way.
Rather than making drastic changes, sometimes the best route to financial security is setting small, yet achievable goals.
Here are five ways to keep your finances on track, according to smartypig.com:
Know your credit score Good credit is the foundation for achieving financial goals. It's crucial to stay on top of your score. Services such as Equifax can tell you where you stand. If outstanding debt has lowered your score, start paying it down, prioritizing high-interest debt. Define specific savings goals General savings accounts are great, but experts say that saving is easier with specific goals because you visualize the prize rather than the process. Cut up credit cards According to Experian, the average consumer carries 4.5 pieces of plastic—4.5 potential paths into debt. By eliminating extra cards, you limit opportunities to spend money you don't have. Start with cards that have high rates or punitive fees—then use your scissors! Canceling cards can impact your credit score; cutting them up makes them just as inaccessible.
Increase your 401k by 3% You already know that you should contribute as much as possible to your 401k retirement savings plan—especially if your employer matches. An easy way to boost that savings is by increasing your contributions by a minimum of 3% each year. As your career progresses and your salary increases, it's unlikely you'll miss the money.
Make a date with your finances Most of us are too busy to tackle anything but the most necessary financial assignments. Set aside time for crossing items off your financial to-do list. Do what works for you whether it’s annual, quarterly or monthly appointments, though it helps to schedule this time when banks and other institutions are open. Time spent finding high-yield savings accounts, better insurance plans, and no-fee cards results in money in your pocket.