Since the Recession, most Americans have become more concerned with their financial health. Websites with financial information and tips to bring your finances under control are in high demand. However, remember that if you don’t actually do the things that are recommended, your finances will not improve. Besides reading all that literature, here are eight basic financial steps you must do NOW if you are truly ready to be financially fit.
The average American reads financial information while they are at work. Hey, why waste your free time learning, right? If you want to keep your job, and have a chance at promoting, you need to show your employer why you are the best worker he has. If everyone else in your department is slacking, and you are not, you will definitely receive that raise you want.
Use Coupons When You Can
We don’t mean you have to slash your grocery bill by hundreds of dollars. Some of us don’t have the time required to be really diligent in couponing. But do take a few minutes to page through your Sunday paper, and check online for coupons of things you regularly buy. You will be surprised at how fast those savings add up.
Pay Your Bills on Time
While this seems glaringly obvious, Americans are notorious for paying late. This means a ton of wasted money on late fees.
Put More Money into Your Retirement Funds
Contribute the maximum amounts to your 401(k), and IRAs. Once this is accomplished, try to reach the limit sooner next year so you can put the extra money into taxable investment accounts.
Think About Your Retirement NOW
Don’t put off planning your retirement because you are young. If you don’t sit down and do the math, you won’t know how much you should be saving. You need a clear plan so you can budget accordingly.
Speaking of Budget
Tracking where your money goes can be depressing. Yet this is an absolute must for figuring out where all that money is going. Then you can plan your monthly budget and figure out if you have more money to save each month.
Be Generous and Helpful to Family and Friends
Try to help your friends and family with things that don’t cost money. And if money is needed, be willing and able to jump in. When you are generous, it creates goodwill and paves the way if you ever need help.
Find Ways to Earn More
Once you have the basics down, see if you have time to make money on the side. Extra money helps your family, or you can donate more to charity. Even though money cannot buy happiness, it sure is a nice thing to have around.