What if you could get your money on track in just five days? The path to financial freedom starts simple, according to financial expert Alex Sutherland of Lifeplan Group.
Day 1: Budget
- Look through your finances. Determine what your spending habits are.
- Examine your debt.
- If you owe any entity money (student loans, credit card company, mortgage, etc.), make sure you know interest rates and due dates to avoid unnecessary fees.
- Examine bills (utilities, cell phone, grocery, etc.)
- Compare debt with your bills. If you're spending more than is coming in, it's time to look at what you can cut
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Day 2: Look for ways to save
- Limit spending
- Consider a day with no spending. Look for free community events, visit a local park, make dinner at home.
- Examine extra costs
- If you're paying for it, but aren't using it, cancel.
Day 3: Start an emergency fund
- Create a fund in for emergencies. If your car breaks down or you need a home repair, this avoids accruing more debt.
Day 4: Save for the future
- Review your retirement accounts.
- If saving 10-15% of your paycheck isn't feasible, start with as little as 1%.
- Check with your human resource department- does your employer match contributions? Can you automatically increase contributions?
Day 5: Keep going
- Use this day to review all of the information gathered in the week.
- Expect some failures, but strive for financial goals