Managing Your Personal Finances
Money in, money out. If you are trying to get more control over your money then you may want to get a handle on how much you earn, spend, owe and save. Track your spending for a month. Be honest with yourself about your spending. You may be surprised where it all goes.
Now that you've tracked your spending you're ready for the next step – a budget. Online budgeting tools make it easy for you to create a budget. But make sure it's a budget you can stick to. And be sure you pay yourself first, to build your savings. Life can be random, so your budget should be able to adapt too.
One rule of thumb says that your monthly long-term debt payments shouldn't exceed 1/3 of your gross income. To take control of your debt, you can start by limiting or avoiding unnecessary spending with high interest rates. Read the fine print and know what you are being charged for interest rates, overdraft charges and other fees.
Pay at least the minimum on every account, every month. Sort your debt and pay off accounts that have the highest interest rate, largest debt or are the quickest to pay off. You can also manage your debt by:
- Rolling over credit cards
- Lowering your interest rates
- Consolidating debts
Make paying off your debt a priority and use extra money to pay debts more quickly. These habits will help you keep control of your personal finances. You can read more about everyday ways to find a few extra dollars to contribute to your retirement.
Get the help you need
Talk with one of our Retirement Specialists for more information.