April… a month full of spring break trips, warmer weather, AND Financial Literacy Month! What is Financial Literacy Month might you ask? Financial Literacy Month is an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits! During April, there are so many different resources that you can take advantage of in order to help you feel more in control of your finances again! Before this month starts, we are going to give you 8 tips to help you get your finances back in order!
- Make a budget- Whether you use an app, spreadsheet, or paper, writing out your budget is going to help you be successful when it comes to meeting your financial goals.
- Start a savings account- Whether you put 10% of each paycheck in it or just $10 a paycheck, anything you put towards savings will help you in the long run.
- Monitor your credit- Pull your credit every four months for free by using annualcreditreport.com. You can pull it from each credit bureau once per year using this site. Many credit cards also give you the ability to see your credit score for free as a perk of the card.
- Increase your 401(k) contributions- Look into seeing if your employer can match your contributions or look into contributing to an IRA. By boosting your contributions even 1%, it can add up to a lot of extra savings.
- Reduce your utility bills- Look at budget billing to have a steady bill each month. Also, look at making some adjustments around the house in order to lower your utility bill. You could by light bulbs that are more energy efficient as well as other household items.
- Try using automatic pay to ensure timely payments! You can even set it up to withdrawal the full balance or a percentage of your full balance on each bill payment.
- Track your progress- This will help you to continue to stay motivated! Make a point to track how far you have come regarding paying off your debt. This will allow you to feel accomplished in reaching those financial goals.
- Look for a way to consolidate your debt- Whether that is working with a credit counseling agency or directly with your bank/creditor, this can help you lower your interest rates and pay your debt off quicker.