Are you ready to declare financial independence? Now more than ever, it’s time to loosen the bonds of debt and experience the freedom that comes with a financially sound lifestyle. Here are 10 tips to help you get started:
Boost your emergency savings fund to cover three-to-six months of living expenses.
Create a budget and track expenses. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to get a real sense of your incoming and outgoing funds.
Review your bank account and credit card statements monthly You might be surprised by what you find – monthly subscriptions for services you forgot to cancel or an overpayment at the restaurant you visited last week, for example.
Pay into your retirement fund once your credit card balances are zeroed out and your emergency fund is in place.
Set money aside for big purchases. Throughout the year, save a little each month to cover summer vacations, Christmas gifts and other major expenses that can thwart your saving goals.
Teach your kids money management skills to help them prepare for the high-stakes “real world.” The earlier the better!
Invest in good insurance. Take care to purchase quality health, auto, life and home/rental insurance, and shop around for the best prices. Insurance is one area where you can’t afford to skimp.
Adjust your tax withholding if you consistently receive a refund – unless you like giving the government an interest-free loan. If you usually owe money on April 15, increase your withholding to ensure you break even when you file your taxes.
Pay down your mortgage. . If you’re already debt-free and investing in your retirement, consider plugging away at your mortgage. Even one extra payment each year can trim considerable time off your loan payments.