As a kid you could call a ‘do-over’ and start again if you made a decision you didn’t like. If you’ve experienced a financial setback, wouldn’t it be great to go back and do things differently? While you can’t turn back the clock, now is a good time to give your finances a facelift. Here are five fresh starts for a better-looking financial future.
1. Identify and set financial goals
Whether you want to save for a new car or a college education, identifying and setting short- and long-term financial goals is an important step toward greater financial security. Rather than hoping for a brighter future, start planning for one now.
2. Improve your budgeting skills
Maybe you’ve tried budgeting in the past and lost focus after a while. There’s a great way to recommit to a plan by using Compass, LGFCU’s online money management service.
With Compass you can track and manage your spending. The service gathers information from all of your accounts allowing you to view your transactions in one place. Compass even lets you set goals, and helps track your progress so you can stay focused and achieve them. The best part is you can download the app and keep track on the go! (Check with your service provider as data fees may apply.)
3. Reduce your debt
Whether it’s credit cards, student loans or any other debts you may have, paying them off is going to help improve your financial picture. Call your creditors and ask if they’ll lower your interest rate. Also, talk to your creditor about debt refinancing or consolidation options. If you can successfully apply any of these strategies you’ll pay less interest over time and have a faster pay off of the principal balance.
4. Rev up retirement savings
Contribute to an available employer-sponsored retirement plan. If your employer offers a matching contribution and you’re not adding enough to get the match, you could be passing up “free money” for your retirement. Use a retirement calculator to estimate the amount you'll need to achieve your retirement goals. Then plan to get your contributions on track to meet those goals.
5. Organize your statements
Reduce your clutter and become more organized with your finances. Choose one email address to receive secure e-delivery of bills, checking, savings and retirement account statements, and more. This way your bills are paid on time and you can log in to check account balances on your own schedule.
Use these financial do-overs to help be better prepared for what challenges may come.