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Signs You Are Finally Getting Ahead With Your Finances

Sure, 52 week savings plan is a good way to free up extra money at the end of the year, but it’s a good idea to take a look at your whole financial picture to ensure you’re making all of the right move to succeed.  It can be a good idea to get a professional involved if you think you may need help, as an extra set of eyes can’t hurt, so even asking a family or friend that you trust to bounce ideas off could work as well.  I know money can be tight, especially considering most of us live paycheck to paycheck, but it’s our money behaviors that really set us apart from the rest and truly set the tone for whether or not we’re getting ahead.

Retirement Contributions are Increasing Every Year

While it may be decades away until retirement but that doesn’t mean you should put off saving any longer.  By starting as early as you can and increasing contributions each year you can maximize your nest egg and ensure you have enough funds to continue your current lifestyle into retirement without the worry of no longer working.  Take a look at work to make sure you’re taking advantage of any employer-matching contributions so that you’re not missing out on any free money that will improve your balance significantly by growing over time in addition to what you are putting in.

Credit Score Continues to Climb

If you have applied for a mortgage, credit card, loan, or even a job these days, you know that credit score is important, and while wages are certainly important, credit score can paint a picture of your worthiness as a borrower to any potential lender (or employer).  You never know who access to your data with all of the breaches could possibly have lately, so it’s a good idea to check your report at least once a year, at which you can pull a credit copy of your report online, not to mention current credit card statements have your score so you can watch monthly to ensure it’s still headed in the right direction.

Saving Money is a Priority

It used to be that whenever you wanted to save money on purchases you would have to drive from store to store, finally buying when you see the best deal, but while you wonder if it was worth it after spending all of that time searching, not to mention gas wasted, if you just would have bought earlier in the day.  These days with online shopping you can flip from site to site in a matter of seconds, making sure you have the best deal possible, with probably free shipping on top of that.  As far as coupons go, days of clipping coupons from the Sunday paper may be over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a shortage of money saving mail that has continued to increase.

You Have Built a Solid Cushion

Much like having your credit information hacked out of your control, sometimes life throws a curveball and huge unexpected charges come in like an appliance or auto repair, medical or vet bills, or unfortunately even lose your job so you need funds to hold you over in the meantime.  Instead of putting all of these charges on a credit card and risk long-term debt, if you put a few months’ worth of expenses into an account, you can give yourself a needed cushion if any large charges come out of nowhere.

Live Below Your Means

You’ve probably heard the term “house poor”, which is something that after you figure in the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, and utilities, probably doesn’t leave you with much money left afterwards, so instead of sacrificing a lack of savings or risk of going into debt, if you keep your housing expenses to what you comfortably can afford, depending on your financial situation, you will continue to get ahead each month.  If one spouse can afford monthly bills, while the other’s salary goes to savings, you’re probably in pretty good shape.  Much like an emergency fund being a cushion, you also don’t want to tie up every dollar you have.

No Credit Card Debt

Speaking of tying up every dollar, when you no longer can afford based on monthly income, or are living beyond your means, credit card debt rises, and as you continue to not pay the full statement balance, interest adds up and it can be a vicious cycle that can take years to come out, if you even can…

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