According to the Federal Reserve, 44% U.S. population does not have $400 to saved to cover an emergency. That means an unexpected $400 emergency “expense would be more challenging to handle and that they either could not pay the expense or would borrow or sell something to do so.” Regaining control begins with understanding where you stand financially today and creating a plan to move you forward.
How can you regain financial control today?
Budgeting: An eye-opening process that help you understand how you’re spending your income. With budgeting, you see your incomes sources and your expenses.
Lower expenses: Find ways to cut back on monthly expenses in order to save money. Lowering expenses means needing less income to cover living expenses.
Pay off debt: Less debt reduces the amount of hours you need to work to earn money. When you carry debt, you’re future hours are obligated to work.
Pay yourself first: Each payday transfer money into a savings account. Having a health savings account gives you back control because you’re less dependent on credit or potentially high-interest loans.
Take advantage of employer benefits: Learn about all your company perks and benefits and take advantage of them. Enroll in your 401(k) plan, participate in employee stock purchase programs, opt-in for workplace workshops, use company discounts, and health services, and tuition reimbursements.
Improve your credit score: Access your free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com (the only federally mandated website) and get free credit score through Credit Sesame. Knowing what factors impact your credit score can improve your credit profile. So when you do need credit, you’ll get the better financing options.
Protect your identity: Identity theft can cost you time and money. Protect yourself by monitoring your credit report using a paid (like LifeLock) or free app (like Credit Sesame). Have peace of mind whenever someone attempts to access your credit or get alerts about changes in your credit profile.
Understand your banking relationships: Access your banking relationships and determine if these financial institutions are offering you products and services that meet your needs. Are you paying fees or earning no interest with your accounts? It might be time to make a change.