Every now and then, you meet someone who appears to be living beyond their means—and they're doing it successfully! Surely, it can leave you scratching your head wondering: “How do they do that?” Well, believe it or not, in today’s complex financial world, basic money management strategies are as important as ever. And, a return to the drawing board can usually set you on a course for long-term financial success.
With this in mind, here are some money management basics that can help anyone get on the right financial track:
1. Get organized—Compile all your important papers, including wills, trusts, life insurance policies, homeowner's insurance, and other important information.
2. Schedule legal consultations—Meet with your attorney to review or write your will and any necessary trusts.
3. Pay off credit card debt—Plan to reduce your debt as quickly as possible. Get the lowest finance charge available. Pay more than the minimum due on your balance.
4. Review insurance coverage—Make certain that you have the appropriate amount of benefits and the proper beneficiary arrangements. Regular reviews with a qualified insurance professional can ensure your planning is consistent with your overall goals and objectives.
5. Take steps to safeguard your finances—possible steps include:
Have your payroll check directly deposited to your bank account. You'll receive the stub containing the payroll information while protecting against theft or loss of your paycheck.
Determine if purchasing extended warranties on products are really necessary.
Openly discuss all purchases and whether they’re really necessary.
Get written estimates for any pending renovations.
6. Review your savings and investments—Review your current financial outlook for the short-term, retirement, and other long-term goals.
7. Prepare a tax strategy—Meeting with a qualified tax professional can help you minimize taxes, which translates into more dollars in your pocket.
8. Take action now—It is never too early to take control of and to safeguard your financial affairs.