For the foreseeable future, your money and your life are going to be inexorably linked. The various trials of finance may make you want to become a hermit, but I’m sure you’ll agree that’s not exactly practical! Like a lot of people, you might wish that you felt more in control of your personal finances, and More secure about your future. If this sounds all too familiar, then read on. Here’s a handy financial checklist for any stage in your life.
First of all, constantly track your expenses. This is much easier than it was a decade ago, thanks to the rise of online aggregators. Companies such as Mint offer services where you can track all your financial accounts from one program. This will give you a convenient look into where all your money is going, and how your investments are performing in different markets. Other trends, such as your net worth, can also be tracked through these handy applications. Understandably, you may be a little hesitant to put all your financial information in one place. However, security standards have picked up a lot in recent years. Just research the program before signing up.
Whether you’re 20 or 80, you should always be looking to shave down your debt. If you’ve got any credit card debt hanging over you, then this should take priority before anything else. Yes, that includes your student debt! Almost all credit card loans rack up more debt than student loans. You only need to look at the two interest rates you’re dealing with to see the proof of this. When it comes to buying things on finance, taking out loans for homeowners and a range of other things, this debt can come back to bite you. This can be frustrating for obvious reasons! I know penny-pinching isn’t exactly pleasant. However, your bank accounts and your credit score will thank you when you erase all your debts.
You may want to consider hiring a financial planner as you get into later life as well. This is especially important after you make some big leap forward in your career. As your money grows, you’ll have more to worry about and keep track of. Having a professional pair of eyes to help you out can make a huge difference to every other area of your personal finances. Hiring a planner consistently will get expensive, but no one’s saying you have to do this! You should be able to find one who will work with you for an hour or so at a flat fee. They’ll show you exactly what you should be focussing on money-wise, and recommend investments that could be better than your current ones. They’ll also give you some advice on that all-important milestone; retirement. Just remember that not all planners are created equal, and scouring the market is well worth the effort.
Whenever you fear you’re losing control of your finances, go back to this checklist. A few simple habits can make a huge difference to your situation indefinitely!