It’s never a good idea to avoid thinking about your finances. Improving your financial outlook can be as easy as laying down – and following – a few simple ground rules.
Create a Spending Plan
Add up your monthly expenses – rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, commuting costs, and car payments, etc. – and subtract them from your after-tax income. If expenses are top heavy, look for places to trim.
Paying bills and making loan payments on time will help you earn a healthy credit score. Credit cards can help you establish credit, but make sure you pay off any balances each month to avoid accruing interest and lowering your credit score.
Start an Emergency Fund
Set aside money in a cash account in case of a job loss or an unexpected expense. Your goal should be at least six months’ worth of living costs.
Set Concrete Goals
A down payment on a house, a college fund, retirement – identifying specific goals can keep you on track. Think about how much you’ll need to save for each goal and review your progress periodically.
Contribute to a Retirement Plan
Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan or open an individual retirement account (IRA) on your own.
*Crane Investment Services Advisors are registered representatives of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, which is not an affiliate of the credit union. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty States of the United States of America.