It’s the start of a brand new year, and if you haven’t gotten your finances in order, now’s the time to do it. Only 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy” while more than half (55%) are coping financially.
What exactly does “financially healthy” mean? It has to do with how much you spend, save, and borrow and how you plan for the future. [1A]
Not having your finances in order can be a real trouble spot as you navigate life. Getting yourself to the point where you aren’t constantly worrying about money is not easy but with a bit of hard work and organization, it is achievable.
Getting a budget together is the first step.  Only 41% of Americans say they use a budget, which is the foundation of financial stability and literacy. List your outgoing and incoming cash flow, and remember to include everything. Be as thorough as possible. You need to confront the reality, rather than hope for the best.
Save as you earn:
As your career progresses, resist the temptation to bump up the amount you spend. A bigger house. A better car. There’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy your success, but you should also be setting more money aside at the same rate as the amount you earn increases. This way when you get older, you have far more assets, and your future is secured.
Research and advice:
Get as much advice on investing as you can from trusted sources. Find out what your goals and objectives are and what you’ll want to accomplish. “You should look at building and preserving your assets over time,” advises Executive Vice President of David Lerner Associates, Martin Walcoe. “Don’t gamble with your money, rather go for a sensible middle-ground of investing.”
The one thing you can bet on is the world is not going to stop turning anytime soon. The future, no matter what it brings, is around the corner. You need to start planning if you want to be ready for what tomorrow will bring.  Join the 30% of Americans who already have a long-term financial plan.
Know your score:
Make sure you know your credit score and see how it changes over time. Keeping tabs on your credit score is a lot easier these days with the many online tools available. Knowing your score will mean you also know your credit card debt and payment schedules and are on top of things. You’ll have a better chance at taking advantage of the benefits of a good credit score, such as better interest rates on loans or mortgages.
Get your finances in order, and take advantage of the freedom it will bring you down the line. Take the bull by the horns when it comes to your finances, and enter the year ahead with success in your sights.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
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David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC.