It seems that every day, there is a new article on debt. For instance, there are published reports which indicate that America is currently in $2.4 trillion of consumer debt, 1 in 10 consumers have more than 10 credit cards, and the average household debt is around $10,000. When you take all of this information into account, you can see why it’s so important to do all that you can to keep your personal finances in order.
If you’d like a few tips on things that you can do to become or stay financially responsible, here are five proven tips:
Create a budget. One of the best ways to avoid overspending is to have a monthly budget put into place. That way, you are clear on how much money you have to spend beforehand. If you’ve never created a budget before and you’d like a few tips on how to make the kind that will keep you financially responsible and out of debt, visit Money Counts and put “create a budget you can stick with” in the search field.
Avoid credit card debt. There’s nothing wrong with having a credit card. In fact, if you use it wisely, it can boost your credit score. The thing to keep in mind when it comes to credit cards is if you rely on them for most of your purchases, you will end up with interest rates and other financial fees that could cause problems down the road. For this reason, try and make it a practice to use cash or your debit card as much as possible. And when you do charge something, pay off your balance, in full, the following month.
Set up a savings account. There are a couple of reasons why it’s a good idea to have a savings account. One is so that can feel secure about having some additional cash for big purchases. Another reason is that it can come in handy should you encounter a financial emergency and you don’t want to use a credit card or take out a loan. In fact, a lot of financial advisors will tell you that it’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund of around $3,000. That can give you a bit of breathing room should your house or car need a major repair or you end up being laid off.
Have a retirement plan. Something that a lot of personal finance websites will tell you is that a key to successful personal finance management is having a retirement plan. No matter how old you are, the sooner that you get this kind of plan into place, the more confident you can feel about your financial future once you’re past retirement age. For tips on how to set up a failsafe retirement plan, visit DOL.gov and put “ways to prepare for retirement” in the search field.
Speak with a financial consultant. When it comes to getting information on financial planning, investing, and even starting a business, you can always benefit from speaking with a reputable financial consultant. They can provide you with all kinds of information that will make you feeling great about your money and how you’re using it. For tips on how to find a great financial consultant, even if you are on a tight budget, visit Money.USNews and put “find a financial advisor if you’re not rich” in the search field.