Good Financial Habits for 2017Submitted by Advisors Financial Inc on February 27th, 2017
As we wrap up the second month of 2017 we thought it would be good to highlight a few good financial habits to start or re-visit.
1) Our best advice regarding spending is to develop a budget and review it frequently, but if that is not realistic, at least spend some time thinking about that next purchase and if it is really a need or just a want. If you’re having trouble staying within your spending goals, focus on the needs and forgo some of the wants.
2) Maximize your workplace retirement contributions at least enough to be eligible for the full match you receive from your employer. Free money is always the best kind!
3) Review your debit and credit card statements at least monthly (more often if you can do it on line). This will allow you to check for fraudulent activity and notify your bank promptly if there is a problem. An added benefit to this practice is that you will see exactly where you are spending money. Since most of our economy is now cashless, we sometimes don’t realize how much we are spending and where.
4) Make sure your Emergency & Opportunity fund is funded (cash in a bank account) to be able to cover three to six month of necessary expenses. That’s the “emergency” part. The “opportunity” part comes in when you have a chance to do something fun, and you tap the account to take advantage of the opportunity. Of course, then you need to save to replenish the balance over time.
5) If you max out all of your retirement savings opportunities each year (401k, IRAs, etc), consider a monthly automatic investment into an investment account. If the money goes out automatically you never notice it, and you will diversify the tax nature of investments working to fulfil your retirement goals.
6) Keep focused on long term goals. The stock market moves in its own pattern and frequently has volatility, but staying the course and following a well thought out strategy will move you toward the finish line.