Tips for Smart Personal Finance
Whether you're playing catch up on retirement savings or working to eliminate debt, it pays to be financially savvy. Here are some tips to point you in the direction of smart personal finance decisions:
Find out what you are doing right
A lot of times we will try to fix what was wrong and don’t take time to reinforce the good habits and things that we were doing right. For example, if you are contributing to your savings regularly, recognize that this is a great habit to have, and continue supporting it. If you can automate those activities all the better, whether through 401(k) payroll deduction or direct deposit from a bank account.
If you aren’t saving regularly, it’s never too late. Open a 401(k) or IRA and start saving now! Start an emergency fund. Think ahead, and plan for a rainy day now before the clouds get dark, and you need an umbrella.
Checks and balances
For obvious reasons, it’s a good financial habit to monitor your bank and credit card account activity on a regular basis. Fortunately, most financial institutions offer online alerts that do a lot of that monitoring for you. You can even set the dollar amounts for balances or purchases with some banks.
Additionally, for credit cards, you can set payment reminders. That way, you won’t get hit with a late fee (which could be as much as $39 each time, according to CreditCards.com).
Online financial tools like Mint.com allow you to see your bank accounts, investments, credit cards, loans, and credit scores in one place in real time. And you have the ability to access that information anywhere, whether you’re on your work computer, smartphone, or home PC.
The tool also allows you to create a custom budget, print reports, or export data into Excel or Quicken—which allows for easy collaboration with your tax preparer.
Transferring credit card balances on high-interest rate cards to one with a lower rate may help you consolidate your monthly payments and save on interest. Once you’ve done that, if you’re worried about using the cards again, shred them rather than canceling them. You’ll still have the credit line in your name, but you won’t have the temptation in your wallet.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC
Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com
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