If you vowed to lose weight and get more exercise this year, you aren’t alone. But how about extending that fitness regime to your finances? Here are some financial workouts tips to get your finances in shape.
1. Put Your Spending On A Diet
Carrying too much debt is as exhausting as carrying extra weight. Reducing your intake is key to losing weight, but the key to slimming down debt is to reduce your outflow. If you have trouble controlling money in just a few categories, such as clothing or entertainment, create a finely detailed budget for just these categories.
2. Stretch Your Retirement Savings
Saving for retirement is similar to an exercise program — the more you put into it, the more you will get out, and regular investing is key. If you are maximizing your retirement plan contributions, consider a deferred annuity. You won’t get a current tax deduction for the money you invest, but you won’t have to pay tax on the earnings until you withdraw the funds in retirement.
3. Use A Professional To Stay On Track
Just as a personal trainer can help you get the most out of your workouts, a financial adviser can help keep you on track and stay invested when your natural inclination is to cut and run. Women are more likely to see the benefits of a financial adviser — 62% of working-age women consult a financial professional when making investment decisions. Less than half of men do the same.
4. Pump Up Your Credit Score
Some of the factors that affect your credit score, sometimes called your FICO score, are delinquencies, accounts opened during the last year, balances on revolving credit that are near limits, tax liens, judgments or bankruptcies, recent credit inquiries, and too few (or too many) revolving accounts. To get a free copy of your credit history, go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
5. Join A Club
Going to health clubs to work out and joining diet groups have been proven to be a far more powerful way to succeed than going it alone. So if you want more money, join the club. An investment club will teach you about stocks and bonds. But if you want to learn how to save money, pay off credit card, shop for a mortgage, and achieve other financial goals, join a Money Club. It’s a FREE service from WIFE.org, the non-profit organization we co-founded more than twenty years ago. Find out more at MoneyClubs.com.