|Tips to Stay Financially Fit
| Year after year, getting healthy is a top New Year’s resolution for most Americans, while saving more and spending less typically ranks lower on the list of priorities. The following are some tips for you and your family to incorporate in your financial habits:
| • Create a budget: Creating a budget is a simple way to determine how best to spend your money. Start by reconciling last year’s expenditures and creating a list of necessary payments. Giving yourself a cheap month, such as spending $150.00 a week, can help define your needs. In addition, working with your partner can help identify a realistic budget and prevent overspending.
| • Put yourself first: Spending too much on adult children, parents and other family members can jeopardize your long-term financial situation. Having your family to live within a budget will force more careful spending while teaching a valuable lesson. Keep in mind you can’t take of others, if you can’t care of yourself.
| • Maximize benefits: Take full advantage of your existing benefits package, such as your 401(k), be sure to maximize your investment by matching your employer’s contribution. If you operate within individual funds, rebalance your 401(k) account periodically. Establishing a dollar cost average arrangement investing a set amount at regular intervals regardless of the financial climate for a new account, such a Roth IRA or financial plan, can also increase your savings.
| • Know yourself: Many people have chronic issues of overspending or mismanaging debt. Developing smart habits can improve your finances. If you fail to prudently spend with credit cards, cut them up. If you struggle to meet basic payments, re-visit your budget and revise it accordingly.
| • If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, before you do anything else, cut your spending, that will enable you to begin saving right away without having to add other resources.
| • Save the maximum you can in your retirement account, up to the amount matched by your company, or up to the amount you can put aside tax-free in an individual Retirement Account.
| • Save at least three month’s pay, so that you have a cushion to tap in an emergency. Think about saving your emergency funds in a high-yield savings account where you can earn a higher interest rate than most traditional bank savings accounts.
| • Diversify your investments, invest into broad-based stock mutual funds will help reduce your risk. When the market drops, as it is bound to do, you may minimize your losses if you are diversified. When you are buying mutual funds, keep in mind that the best predictor of a good return is how low the fees are. Aim for low-cost funds that charges less than 1 percent.
| • Take care of the basics for your family, Your primary goal is to have enough money saved to take care of your family if something happens to you. One of the best ways to make sure your family is taken care of is to have proper insurance on yourself to cover the unforeseen circumstances.
|As a first time home buyer, if you incorporate these tips into your financial fitness plan, you will be a lot further ahead than most Americans!!!