Planning a Secure Financial Future
Setting yourself up for financial stability gives you the confidence to know you can pay your bills and handle unexpected expenses. It also gets you on track to reach any goals you have for the future. Here's how to get started.
- Learn how you spend money.
Track your finances for 2 months to learn how and where you're spending your money. Try keeping a spending journal, and write down all your expenses. Don't judge. Just track. This information will help you set new goals and make a plan.
- Learn more about financial planning.
Many communities offer free or low-cost classes. They can help you learn how to create a budget, save for the future, and invest your money. Libraries are also a good resource for books about financial planning and budgeting.
- Make a plan you can follow.
Choose a plan that will help you reach your goals. But make sure it's realistic. Ask yourself if it's a plan you can follow for the long-term. For example, cutting your spending in half to increase your savings will help you reach a goal faster—but it might become hard to do if you're always low on money.
- Automate your savings.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. If money is transferred automatically, you won't be tempted to spend it in other ways. You can go to a bank to set up an automatic savings plan, or set up an account through an online bank. From there you can decide how much money you want to have transferred from your checking account into savings each month.
- Be patient.
It may take years for you to reach your goals, so try not to get discouraged. What's important is to make a plan and stick with it over time. Setting limits on how often you check your financial statements may help. Also try focusing on small milestones, like paying off a bill or saving $100.