Tips for a Strong Financial Future
If 2020 wrought havoc upon your personal finances, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are struggling to rebuild their finances after unemployment, major medical bills and other pandemic-related issues. While you might be used to managing your own money, there’s always room for improvement. Read these steps you can take to build better finances in Atlanta, GA, then call Emory Alliance Credit Union to take action:
- Establish a realistic budget: Spend less than you earn. It sounds simple, but budgeting can be a problem for many people, especially when they’re in less-than-ideal circumstances. Sometimes you have to rely on emergency savings when you’re in a tight spot—but once you’re out of it, make sure you budget appropriately. If you’re not getting paid enough, consider trying to find a job that can support your needs. Look for ways to reduce your expenses—but be sure to put aside some money for a few frivolities whenever possible, too. If your budget is too strict, you might chafe at the restrictions and decide not to follow it.
- Make a savings plan: Part of good budgeting is dedicating a certain amount toward savings each month. A good rule of thumb is to put at least five percent of your salary into savings each month, which is easy when you set up autosave or direct deposits. Over time, that money will add up.
- Consider investing: If you have extra money after paying your bills, saving for the future and putting money into a retirement plan, ask your financial advisor about other ways to invest your money. Making your funds work for you is a great way to improve your savings and safety net.
- Contribute to a retirement plan: If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, be sure to contribute the maximum amount they’ll match. It’s a great way to get a retirement plan going, and can have excellent tax implications as well.
- Pay off your credit cards: Credit card debt can quickly balloon into a major problem. It’s easy to overpay for things you don’t need when you have a credit card—studies have shown that people are much more likely to overspend because they’re not keeping track, or spending the money doesn’t feel “real.” Unfortunately, the high interest rates can present a real problem if you don’t pay off the card each month. It also affects your credit score. Do yourself a favor and make paying off your credit cards your number one financial goal.
- Create a record-keeping system. Keeping good financial records might seem tedious at the time, but when tax season comes around, you’ll be grateful. Detailed financial records make it possible to take more deductions at tax time. You might also discover that you’re eligible for tax credits and other benefits you hadn’t considered.
For more personal finance tips in Atlanta, GA, consider working with Emory Alliance Credit Union. We can help you maximize your savings and guide you toward savvy financial solutions. Call us today to get started with a consultation.
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