With temperatures dipping, you begin burrowing down for the coming winter. But is a financial burden settling in with you? The average American carries over $15,000 of credit card debt on their shoulders with no plan for an end in sight. Don’t let your monetary planning go into hibernation. With these 5 steps, Raccoon Valley Bank can help you begin your path towards financial freedom.
- Develop a game plan: Without goals or knowing where you begin, you’re wandering down an aimless financial path. Sit down and figure out exactly what’s on your plate, from income and investments to student loans and car payments. Then, nail down what you’re shooting for: a house? Another child? A foreign vacation? A clear end goal establishes steps to reach it.
- Get on the same page as your partner: Long-term planning is moot if your partner’s sights are set elsewhere. Each of you should write down your perception of your current financial state, as well as a list of goals. Then, compare answers. Identify common ground and spark conversation about points that don’t align.
- Create categories: Take a look at your expenses from the past three months, and throw them under one of three categories: Need, Want, and Like. Needs keep you alive – think food, shelter, and basic clothing. Wants add meaning to your life, like hobbies and items that give you identity. Likes are impulse buys that give you a momentary high, but leave you crashing as their costs add up. Budget around the “needs,” make room for a few “wants,” and slash out the “likes.”
- Make “debt” a four-letter word: Ignore the myth of “good debt.” Make it your #1 goal to pay off what you can ASAP. You’ll be able to focus on what really matters in the future rather than staying bogged down in the past.
- Build safety nets: The strongest, most strategic financial plan can be brought to its knees by an emergency. If you haven’t started yet, set aside $1,000 now into an emergency fund. When your car breaks, roof leaks, or throat aches, you can dip into this pot comfortably.
Financial freedom clears the path to goals that matter most to you. Our associates at Raccoon Valley Bank are here to help you get on your feet and get moving. To find out more about our financial consultations and advising, give us a call today.
Raccoon Valley Bank
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