One of the top New Year's resolutions is to improve our financial situation. We all want what is now being referred to as “Financial Wellness.”
We aren’t talking about the difference between wealth and poverty here. We aren’t talking about hand-to-mouth versus upper affluent income brackets. We’re talking about a quality of life and a healthy overall financial lifestyle.
Here are some things that will get you there:
The more you know, the more you can control and be responsible for. Taking control of your own financial life begins with learning and understanding the ABC’s of finances. This could be as easy as finding a local community financial education class or researching online. Make improving your financial education a priority this year.
According to a study by FINRA, out of all of the adults who live and work in America, almost two-thirds cannot calculate interest payments correctly. About 33% said they would not even know how to try and calculate it at all.
Get Sound Advice
Find someone whose advice you trust and someone you know has your best interests at heart. Someone who will not push you into risky investments, but rather use a conservative approach to taking care of your money.
According to a recent poll, only one in three Americans prepare a detailed household budget. This opens the door to letting bills slip through the cracks, which can lead to late fees, penalties, and a lower credit score. It also makes your financial planning unpredictable. You need to know exactly how much money is coming in, how much is needed to cover expenses, and how much is available for savings and investments.
Stick to your budget. Don’t get extravagant with your finances. That’s not to say you can’t treat yourself now and then, but make sure you have it in your budget before splurging.
And use the technology available to you. Nowadays we can access our accounts online from our phones and move funds between them. This avoids being overdrawn. There are also all kinds of budgeting apps and calculators available.
The average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,425. Look at ways to get better interest rates on your existing cards and loans. This could mean the difference between being debt free and being buried under endless credit card bills.
Change your mind
This is a simple attitude shift towards your own financial scene and your own financial future. There is hope. Don’t feel ashamed or guilty about your finances. It’s a state of mind. Change your attitude, and make this the year you take control of your own financial future.
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.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
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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