Published on February 11, 2021
Written by The Servion Financial Advisors Team
Do you know your credit score? You should. Everyone is entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months. According to the FTC, you can get yours online from annualcreditreport.com (the only authorized website for free credit reports) or by calling 1-877-322-8228. If your score isn’t where you’d like it to be, plan to take steps to improve it, such as paying off credit cards, paying bills on time and lowering your overall debt.
Waiting until the tax deadline can cause you unnecessary stress. Take the initiative to get your taxes done sooner than you may have before. To accomplish this, set a goal to have your tax documents gathered and your tax return complete by a date that is well before the April 15 deadline (don’t assume that the 2021 filing deadline will be pushed back like it was last year).
Budgeting is essential for everyone, whether you live paycheck-to-paycheck or have a large amount of wealth. Sit down and review last year’s expenses. Where did your money go? How much went to necessities, recreation, savings, investing and so on? Once you understand your spending, then make decisions about how to reduce spending on certain things and increase savings.
This goes hand in hand with setting a budget. Once you know how much you really need to pay bills and various expenses, do your best to save as much of the excess as possible. You can increase your savings by increasing your 401(k) contribution a percentage point or two or setting up a savings account at your credit union, for example. You can make saving easier by setting up automatic transfers to your savings account.
By “bad debts,” we mean high-interest credit cards and personal loans. Paying off any debt is important, but these high-interest debts are especially critical to erase. They are the exactly the opposite of good investments – investments compound your net worth, while high-interest debt eats away at it.
You don’t have to be wealthy to use financial planning services. Good financial advisors care about seeing people become more financially healthy, regardless of income level. Make it a goal to develop a relationship with a financial advisor this year. The advisor is someone you’ll be able to call, ask questions to and get advice when you need it.
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