Financial tips that are always beneficial

Was 2015 a challenging year for you financially? Do you want to start off 2016 with a better financial footing, one that will help you take charge of your money over the short- and long-term? Here are a few financial tips that you can use next year to help improve your finances.

Save for goals

If your budget doesn’t allow for a big-ticket purchase right now, you’ll just have to save for it. Saving money is easier when you have a specific goal in mind such as a new car, your first home, college education or a dream vacation.

Ensure your goal has a specific dollar amount and a reasonable time frame in which to reach it. This will allow you save regularly each month until have enough for the purchase.

Insurance

A good financial plan should include an option in case you’re in an accident or face an unexpected illness that makes it impossible to work and earn an income. That’s where insurance comes in. Both life insurance and long-term disability coverage are important to help you and your family remain financially fit during these difficult periods. You can find both types of insurance online or by checking with your preferred insurance carrier.

Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Paying off your credit card debt is another way to strengthen your finances, especially if you’re paying high interest rates on your credit card balances and paying just the minimum balance each month.

Instead, focus on paying a little more each month on the card with the highest interest rate until you can pay it off. Once that is done, do the same with the card with the second-highest interest rate. It will take time to eliminate this debt but having a plan in place is another way you can take control of your finances.

Create an Emergency Fund

Saving isn’t just for big ticket items. It’s also good practice to pay yourself first by putting aside a small percentage of your gross income in savings without any specific goal in mind.

And while you’re at it, setting aside money each month for an emergency fund is important, too. Experts say you should save enough to take care of three-to six months’ worth of living expenses. For example, if you saved $100 a month starting in January 2016, you’ll have a nice $1,200 emergency fund ready in December.

Want more financial assistance? Travis Credit Union members receive free financial counseling through our partnership with the BALANCE Financial Fitness Program. Visit the BALANCE website for more information about this confidential services.

 

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