The woes and hardships brought on by the recession was a great wake up call for many. How are you spending your money, are you saving at all, do you have an emergency fund, what about retirement?
It is very important, now more than ever, to pay yourself first. I don’t mean buying an expensive handbag or taking a costly trip, but by saving your money. There are many of us that do not have savings accounts, retirement plans or emergency funds and with job cut backs, foreclosures and retirement seemingly further out of reach; we can no longer afford to live that way.
The following tips will help get you on track:
• Make a point of putting money into savings from each paycheck.
• Build an emergency fund- at least 9 months worth of expenses should be in an account that you cannot touch.
• Take the time to track your spending.
• Do a needs vs. wants analysis. It actually is not as hard as it sounds. We all spend on things we could easily give up- a gym membership you are not using, a daily Starbucks habit, eating out 3 to 4 times a week etc.
• Take the time to lay out a monthly budget and stick to it.
• Do not create debt- instead of paying with a credit card, use cash whenever possible. If you don’t have the cash you probably can’t afford the item.
Heading into the fall, this is the perfect time to sit down and review your overall financial status. Start implementing these tips and you will be well on your way to financial health.