National Financial Awareness Day

August 14th is National Financial Awareness Day — and what better time to review your financial situation to see if everything’s in order? Here are some things for you to consider. 

Create a Budget

According to Debt.com, only 67 percent of Americans have their families on a budget. That’s despite the fact that as a nation, we now have more than $4 trillion in personal debt. Yet having a budget can have many advantages, as The Balance points out. It shows you where all of your money is being spent, which allows you to eliminate wasteful expenditures. It also shows you where your priorities should lie and provides you with a solid foundation to build new spending habits on. 

To create a budget, write down all of your monthly expenses, including rent or mortgage, credit card payments, personal loans, car payments, insurance, household spending, education costs, insurance and any other expenses you have. Then review the list, and see where you can save money. For example, could you save on household spending if you bought groceries in bulk, or is there a way to save money on your home and car insurance if you bundle your policies? 

Once you’ve determined a realistic spending plan, write it down — and stick to it. This will enable you to save more money, which you can then use to pay down debt, put aside for a rainy day, invest or save for a large purchase such as a vacation, a car or a home.

Start Saving for Retirement

Bloomberg reports that 48 percent of Americans aged 55 and older don’t have any retirement savings. Yet unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll need a retirement fund to survive when you’re older and unable to work. Fortunately, when you put money into a 401K or IRA, you pay less taxes in the year you saved it — plus, those funds can accumulate tax-free for years. What’s more: If your employer offers a retirement plan, it might contribute funds to your account, as well — and that’s basically free money.

To start saving for retirement, it’s wise to find out if your employer offers a plan as a part of your benefits. If so, that might be your best option due to the employer contribution. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan or if you’re self-employed, you’ll need to open a retirement plan with a mutual fund or brokerage firm. The good news is that the larger firms offer personal investment advisers who can guide you through the process, as Investopedia reports.

Review Your Life Insurance Policy

Your life insurance needs can change over time as your situation evolves. For example, perhaps you recently bought a new home with a bigger mortgage than before, or maybe your family has grown. That’s why it’s wise to take a good look at your life insurance policy to see if you need to increase your coverage or add riders to provide you and your loved ones with more protection. 

If you’re not sure how to go about this, contact the team of life insurance experts at Liberty Financial Group. We understand your needs and concerns, and we can help you determine the best way to get the coverage you want. For more information, please contact our offices at your convenience. 

Be Prepared for the Future

Regardless of your age or family situation, being financially aware is simply smart. So take the time to review your finances and make any necessary changes, and you’ll be much better equipped to stay on top of your financial situation — no matter what changes the future might bring. 

Sources

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fewer-americans-are-budgeting-in-2019—-although-they-think-everyone-else-should-300824384.html

https://www.thebalance.com/budgeting-improve-your-life-1289557

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-26/almost-half-of-older-americans-have-zero-in-retirement-savings