You know that feeling you get after you clean up the house and clear out the clutter? You can get that same feeling when you tidy up your finances. Here are four tips to help you prepare for next year.
1. Get a budget in place.
Do you follow a budget? Many Americans don’t, even though it’s one of the most effective ways to manage money. Without a budget in place, you’ll have a hard time seeing where your money is going, where you’re overspending, and how you can make changes. Here are four easy steps to create a budget.
2. Get rid of credit card debt
There is good debt—mortgages for homes and loans for education—but there is also bad debt. Credit card debt is the worst kind of debt you can have, and the longer you carry it, the more money you end up losing in interest. Get the debt under control. Atlantic can help provide a financial lift with a debt consolidation loan. Simplify your finances. Save time, money, and stress by combining multiple loans into a single monthly payment.
3. Control impulsive shopping
Yes, that new smart phone might seem like a need at the moment, but is it really worth the financial stress it may create, especially over time? When it comes to an impulse buy it is always good to postpone the purchase for 24 hours. Revisit the purchase later and determine if it will fit in your budget.
4. Save for retirement
According to a 2018 Northwestern Mutual study, 21% of Americans have not saved for their retirement. If you’re one of those people, it’s time to start. Your goal should be to save 15% or more of your monthly income for your retirement. If you’re not used to saving, going from 0% to 15% might be hard. Start small, simply set aside $50 each month and then increase that amount if you get a raise or get a better handle on your expenses.
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