Financial Literacy Month: Five Tips for Financial Well-Being

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Are you financially well? If you’re not, don’t feel bad. There are plenty of people just like you who need a little push in the right direction. Read on for tips on how to get your finances happy and healthy.

1. Pay off your debt. This means paying extra on your current debt, and declining to sign up for new debt. It’s hard to imagine living without debt, but you will not regret it. Once you have paid off that debt you will have much more money to spend.

2. Create a budget and stick to it. We live in an instant society. There are stores on nearly every corner that are open all the time. We have access to the internet where we can purchase items easily. The problem becomes impulse spending and/or lack of a budget. A budget does not mean that you have to give up everything that you love. Rather, a budget is a set of guidelines for spending. You determine ahead of time how much you will spend. Not only does this give you rules for spending, but it shows you where your money is actually being spent.

3. Make deliberate purchases. Instead of buying something that you see and want, try going home and waiting 24 hours before making the purchase. Stores are very good at marketing to consumers and making them feel like they need an item right away.  So after you see your dream blender, go home and think about it. Decide whether it is a need or a want, then act accordingly.

4. Look for deals and pay in cash. Cash still rules when it comes to paying for items. Big-ticket-item vendors will often reduce prices if you pay in cash. Additionally, you become more aware of where your money is going when you physically hand over cash.

5. Save for an Emergency. Emergencies happen. Instead of paying for them with a credit card, develop a savings account for  such a situation. This way, you do not end up paying interest for that broken arm or that car wreck. Emergencies are bad enough without having to worry about the debt from the emergency following you for an extended period of time.

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