September is self-improvement month and a great time to work on your financial health. When you think of self-improvement, you likely think of your health or career but may pay little attention to your finances. Getting your financial health in order may help alleviate stress and give you some breathing room to improve your life in other ways. Below are a few simple tips that may help improve your personal finances so that you may move on to other important areas of self-improvement.
Trim Down Your Monthly Bills
One of the biggest complications with finances is having more monthly bills than your income can cover. Consider reducing unnecessary expenditures. Start by creating a detailed budget with all of your monthly bills in the order of most to least important. Make sure you include allotments for clothing, food, and savings. Then, determine how much money you will receive each month. If you don't have enough to cover all of your bills, draw a line through where your income runs out and see if you can cut down the bills for less important things. If you have enough income to cover all your bills, look at your least important expenses to see if some are worth eliminating to add more to your savings.
Tackle Your Debt
Another potential financial headache is having a significant amount of debt, especially when it seems to grow larger instead of smaller. Come up with a plan to pay down your debt as quickly as possible so that you may use the savings on interest for more important matters. There are two methods to try. The first involves tackling the debt with the highest interest rates and moving down the list paying off each debt as you go. The second option is to pay the smallest debt off first and use that payment amount as an added payment to tackle the next largest one, snowballing it until all of your debt is gone.
Make Savings a Priority
Saving is part of planning for your future and also may be needed for unexpected emergencies. Make sure that you set aside money each month towards savings, whether you need it to grow an emergency fund, save for education, or plan for your retirement. Once you set an amount to put aside each month, work it into your budget so you make it a part of your regular monthly allocations.
If you are looking for other ways to improve your finances, LPL Financial is here to help. Contact one of our experienced financial professionals today to find out ways that may help get your finances back in shape.