30 Financial Planning Tips You Can’t Live Without

30 Financial Planning Tips You Can’t Live Without

Taking the time to learn about financial planning is an important investment in yourself. Follow some of these tips to help you create a stable financial future.

Tips for Everyone

  1. Spend Less Than You Earn – Avoid making purchases on time or using credit cards unless you can pay off the balance at the end of each month.
  2. Eliminate Credit Card Debt – A revolving credit balance is more expensive than paying with cash.
  3. Create a Reasonable Budget – Put together a budget that includes everything you really purchase in a month.
  4. Establish a Savings Plan – A savings account will give you a cushion if something unexpected happens and you find yourself a little short occasionally.
  5. Check your Credit Reports – Take advantage of the three free credit reports that you are entitled to each year. Look over your reports to make sure that the information is accurate.
  6. Write a Will – If you don’t specify where you want your assets to go after your death, there is no guarantee that your dependents will receive them.
  7. Start a Holiday Fund – Setting aside as little as $20 per month during the year will give you a good nest egg for special occasions and holidays.
  8. Purchase Appropriate Insurance – Don’t pay for a life insurance policy you don’t need. Buy life insurance to provide financial security if you are unable to contribute any longer.
  9. Donate to Charity – Make tax-deductible donations before the end of the year so that you can claim them on your taxes.
  10. Use Employment Benefits - Many employers offer medical payment plans and retirement funds at a reduced rate.
  11. Lower Energy Bills – Make sure you turn off electrical appliances and lights when not needed.
  12. Stick to Your Budget – Once you make a budget, follow it. If your budget is reasonable, it won’t be too difficult to stay on track.
  13. Withhold Taxes Properly – It is nice to get a large income tax rebate once a year, but you could be enjoying larger net paychecks each month if you adjusted your withholding properly.
  14. Contribute toward Retirement – Establish a retirement fund as early as you can and contribute to it regularly so that you can continue to live comfortably when you are ready to retire.
  15. Earn What You Deserve – Keep track of the expected earnings for the type of work you do, and make sure you are earning a competitive salary.
  16. Stay Organized – Keep your home office neat and organized so that you can find your financial documents easily.
    • Arranging Finances for Military Families

  17. Take Advantage of Financial Resources – Service personnel have access to financial planners, accountants, and other resources.
  18. Keep Insurance Policies Updated – Make sure your car and life insurance policies are appropriate for your current situation.
  19. Organize Your Information – Keep all of your financial information in a central location that is easy to navigate when you are away from home.
  20. Designate a Power of Attorney – Choose a trusted friend or family member to handle your affairs if something were to happen to you.
  21. Increase Your Emergency Fund – Military families sometimes experience unexpected changes at a moment’s notice.
    • Financial Tips for Women

  22. Open an IRA – Your withdrawals will be tax-free.
  23. Diversify Your Portfolio – Spread your investments between safer and more risky stocks.
  24. Invest in a 401(k) – This is an account that generates free money toward your retirement.
  25. Increase SavingsWomen tend to save less than men do. Make sure you save between 5 – 10% of your salary each month.
    • Essential Planning Strategies for Non-Traditional Couples

  26. Domestic Partnership Agreements – If you live in a state that recognizes domestic partnerships, they provide many of the rights that married couples enjoy.
  27. Powers of Attorney – Designate your partner as your power of attorney in case you cannot handle your own affairs.
  28. Health Care Directives – Ensure that your partner will be included in health decisions.
  29. Revocable Trusts – Transfers assets to specified beneficiaries.
  30. Put Everything in Writing – Since the federal government does not recognize your relationship, it helps to document every financial plan.

One comment

  1. ‘Spend less than you earn’ sounds so simple but its amazing how many people (myself included until recently) don’t do it! Since I started saving 10% of my earnings 5 months ago and it feels great to see my savings account grow. In all honesty if you put your 10% straight into your savings account when you get paid you don’t even miss it!

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