Taking the first step toward control over your finances is a big move, but it can pay off well in the future. Financial health can play a role in many areas of your life, from day-to-day quality of living to your retirement plans. Getting started with an active approach to finance is not that difficult, so let’s look at four ways you can get started today.
Create a Budget
The first way to take control of your finances is to be realistic about your financial situation. Whether you use a budgeting app, a spreadsheet, or even a pen and paper, you first will have to document money coming in and going out. Look at your pay and see how it gets divided up each month. You don’t need to judge yourself for your habits; simply seeing where your money is going is the first step to making smart choices about your finances. Once you know where your money is going, you can set limits to avoid overspending.
Check Your Score
A credit score can make a big difference throughout life. You may not be able to rent a nice apartment, buy a car, or get a mortgage if your score is too low. Check out your score with a reputable site or app, like Credit Karma. If your score could improve, you can consider ways to pay down debt faster, or open a credit card that you can use solely to improve your score.
Set Future Goals
Thinking about the future is a good way to create a financial plan. You will probably have retirement goals, but you may also have another goal. Perhaps you want to save an emergency fund or a down payment. Think about what you want to accomplish, and then create a reasonable plan for how to get there.
Stop Unnecessary Payments
It is easy today to sign up for subscription services without giving it a second thought. However, these payments add up and can be a significant hit to your paycheck. If you haven’t used the gym in months, cancel your membership. If you pay for every streaming service, cut back to one. Cancelling just one recurrent payment can help you save hundreds every year.
There are so many ways to take control of your finances, and these four are just the start. Taking charge of your financial life will help you achieve more with your money, and it can set you up for success now and in the future.
Representatives do not provide tax and/or legal advice. Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only, does not purport to be complete or cover every situation, and should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Clients should confer with their qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate.
Ben Soccodato is a registered representative of and offer securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. www.SIPC.org 6 Corporate Drive, Shelton, CT 06484, Tel: 203-513-6000. CRN202203-260951
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