Steps for a Financial Do-overShare
Whether you spent a little more than you’d intended, or you were young and unwise with your finances, wouldn’t it be nice to just call a mulligan and start anew? While you can’t do that, you can take steps to get your finances back on track
Write down your goals
Any time you want to make big changes, it’s important to know why. Why do you want to get your finances back on track? Is it to get out of debt? To buy a car? To save for a major vacation? Figure out your financial goals and how to achieve them. Write down your goals and keep them top of mind.
Work on your credit
This is a three-parter—building, fixing, and monitoring. No credit history? Build one so you’ll have a better chance of qualifying for loans. Open credit cards and/or personal loans and, here’s the important part, pay them back on time. When fixing your credit score, first, determine which loan/credit card has the highest interest rate. Knock that one out first; then, move on to the next loan or card. Making payments on time and paying off debts will help rebuild your credit. Last, monitor your credit, particularly if you’re in the rebuilding process. And keep an eye open for any inaccuracies or indications of identity theft.
Create a budget (and stick to it)
Start tracking your monthly spending on things like rent, utilities, groceries, and entertainment. Look where you can make cuts (brown bag it for lunches), and set a limit for yourself on extras. Maybe stick to a cash-only diet, so once that cash is gone, you cannot spend any more.
Have an emergency fund
Nothing can ruin your credit and finances quite like unplanned emergencies, so set aside money each month, even just a little, for an emergency fund. You’ll be glad you did when something unexpected crops up.
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