Is Prevention the Key to Financial Health?
For many years healthcare has been moving to a preventative model to improve our overall health. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” This is true for personal finance as well. The sooner you are able to identify an issue the more options you have to change the outcome. Jump-starting a healthy lifestyle whether physically or financially isn’t always as easy as it sounds. For some it’s hard to get started and for others starting is easy, but staying motivated is tricky. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Get Regular Check-ups
Getting a regular check up with your doctor may bring a health issues to light that may not have been noticed until the issue became a problem. Meeting with a Financial Counselor to take a detailed look at your budget, all of your income coming in, all of your monthly expenses, debts owed, and spending patterns can really bring items to attention. In addition, you can get expert advice on how to take control and make changes in order to avoid financial stress. And once you have the tools you will feel confident and more successful in managing your finances. If you already have the tools to do it on your own, great. Make sure you take financial inventory of your budget at least 2-3 times per year.
Make Healthy Choices
Making healthy financial choices will create a healthy fiscal lifestyle. We all know we should watch what we spend and pay off debt, but building an emergency savings is just as important. No one can predict the future and there is the unfortunate possibility being impacted by illness or job loss. Most Americans are one paycheck away from financial chaos; so being prepared can take the financial stress off of an unexpected situation and prevent the stress from turning into chaos. In addition, if you want to pay off debt and keep it off, an emergency savings will help you to prevent a dependence on credit cards for unexpected or unplanned expenses.
On a daily basis we are exposed to over 3,000 ads telling us what we need in order to be happy. That is a lot of influence on where, when, and how much we spend, not to mention a tremendous amount of pressure. Thankfully, we build up our strength with every impulse purchase we avoid. Keeping your perspective on needs versus wants will help combat the push to 'buy now and pay later'. If you find yourself justifying the purchase to yourself, it's probably a want. Take the time to think about why you are buying something and exercise will power. Buying something now and paying for it for the next 18 months will never feel as good as buying something outright with money you have set aside for it.
Reaching a personal goal deserves a reward, so remember to keep it fun or you will get burnt out. For example, once you have met your emergency savings goal, start a new savings for something you've always wanted, but couldn't afford without charging. And if you stumble along the way don't give up... tomorrow is a new day!
Are you ready for a financial check-up? Our counselors are here to help you take control and, above all, give you the tools and guidance to help you conquer your debt once and for all. Call us at 888.577.2227 to schedule an appointment or get all your support online . Not ready for an appointment? Visit our website for financial tools and resources. Also, subscribe to our blog and learn more about financial tips and issues that affect most people.
Author Ashley Hagelin is a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and specializes in Reverse Mortgage Counseling.