Being financially stable should be a top priority for everyone. However, a lot of people don’t know where to start or where to look for advice. Well, look no further, because I have 7 tips that could help you on your journey to Financially Stable Wonderland!
- Live Below Your Means
While keeping up with the Joneses might sound like a good idea, it’s one of the top ways people find themselves deep in debt. Although hard, try to fight the urge to buy whatever Instagram or Facebook Marketplace thinks is the perfect item for you.
Try to cut back on fast food and don’t go to Starbucks to get your coffee fix. Instead, make your coffee at home and try making some interesting meals that you could also have as leftovers. When your paycheck comes in, although hard, try not to blow through it on the latest fashion trend. When you’re financially secure, then you will have the leeway for the latest and greatest gadgets.
2. Stick to a Budget
This is a great way to track where your money is going! By setting up a budget, you can make spending and savings goals. Knowing where each penny of your paycheck is going will help you on your way to Financially Stable Wonderland. So, next time you’re at the store, pick up a notebook to track your expenses, if you’re tech savvy, make a spreadsheet for your monthly expenses. Or… you can do all of the above with MoneyCentral; which is a free service that comes with Central National Bank checking accounts. Use these tools to monitor your budget and plan where your money is going each month!
3. Pay Off Debt
This may seem like an obvious tip, but it is a vital one for sure. Having this habit will help you in the long run. Set aside money monthly in your budget to pay off any debt you have. Whether this be from your credit card, school loans, car payments, or the mortgage, chipping away at your debt is going to be the most important step to becoming financially stable. If you have to start small that’s ok, maybe pay $1 more than your regular monthly payment requires and try to increase this amount each month.
4. Retirement Plan
Now, this may seem like a very far off stage in your life, at least it does for me! However, if you start contributing to a retirement plan now, you could be set when the time comes. My boss just shared with me a couple of weeks ago that some of the best financial advice she got was to start putting money into your retirement plan as early as you can. Even if it is a small amount, a little can go a long way!
5. Take Advantage of What Your Employer Has to Offer
CNBC says that it is worth going over your employer’s benefits plans thoroughly. Maximize as much as you can with the dental insurance, medical insurance, and life insurance plans they offer because they are worth big bucks. Having these benefits can save you money. The Balance says that by taking advantage of your employment benefits, you could reduce your taxes and help with out-of-pocket expenses. We all love money, but we should love being able to save it more. So, maximize those benefits as much as you can!
6. Keep Track of Your Records
Not only is this a way to help you budget, it can also help you during tax season. By carefully keeping track of your records, you can make sure to claim all allowable income tax deductions. When it’s that time of the year, you also don’t have to panic or scramble to look for everything because you will have it all organized neatly in your records. Keeping good records can also help you out when you balance your checkbook. If you keep the receipts from your purchases and check them against your bank statement, you can be sure of where all your money has gone.
7. Emergency Fund
Having a reserve of cash available to use in case of an emergency is very important. Let’s say an unexpected expense arises, like an urgent car or house repair, you can take money from your emergency stash. Having this rainy day fund can help you in a big way. Instead of charging the expense to your credit card or taking out a loan, you can tap into your “rainy day” jar. CNBC advises that you set aside 3 to 6 months of monthly expenses for your emergency fund, but you should do what’s best for your financial situation. Something is always better than nothing in cases like these! Here at Central National Bank we offer It Makes Ȼents!, a service where every time you swipe your card at the store, we round of the transaction to the nearest dollar. Bonus! With each statement cycle, we will match 5% of your savings so we make an additional deposit to your account.*
Hopefully these tips will land you into Financially Stable Wonderland where you can be at ease! Take them one step at a time if you need to, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Did you notice? I conveniently have 7 tips, one for every day of the week!
*Maximum match amount of $50 per statement cycle. You must have at least two Central National Bank deposit accounts to be eligible for It Makes ¢ents!.