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Maximizing Fiscal Fitness with Budget Basics

It's not just set it and forget it

Planning Budget Education

Nowadays, there are an array of financial software programs that can help you stay fiscally fit. Technology certainly can be a valuable tool, but good, basic habits are necessary to put you in solid control of your finances. As you use the wonders of software to gain a grip on your financial life, remember that the following regimen can help you achieve a comfortable level of financial security:

  1. Regularly review your financial well-being. It is important to constantly review your financial situation and to, at least annually, get together with your financial advisor in order to get appropriate recommendations specific to your situation.

  2. Your financial goals need nourishment, too. Each month, transfer a set amount from earnings to savings or investments.

  3. Eliminate the fat from your financial diet. Avoid high credit card finance charges by paying off balances due monthly or, if you must carry a balance, using only cards offering low finance charge rates.

  4. Don’t forget the financial food groups. Spread your risk among many investments, including mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and real estate.

  5. Take your financial vitamins. If you qualify, contribute to an IRA, 401(k) plan, or other plan offering tax-deferred investment to help fund your retirement. There are now higher income limits, therefore, more people will qualify.

  6. Protect your financial health. Have your will and any trusts reviewed periodically by an attorney in light of any tax law changes. Have a qualified insurance professional check your current life and disability policies and your need for any new insurance.

  7. Set short- and long-term financial goals. Work within three time frames, setting one-year, three-year, and ten-year goals. Evaluate your progress each year and make adjustments, as appropriate, to achieve long-term success.

By making a commitment now to start this planning process, you’ll place yourself on the road to financial health and well-being.

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