A personal finances checklist essentially provides two major benefits: it helps you remember items that may easily be overlooked and provides a detailed step-by-step guide to reaching your end goal, which is saving money. With a checklist in place, most people find that it establishes a higher standard of performance centered around clear goals.
Regardless of what you have been told or have read about saving money and general financial matters, money is a complicated affair. Every individual has different financial situations, goals, income patterns and saving methods. The options available for investment and saving are too numerous to count. This is where a personal finance checklist for saving comes in handy, to review finances on a regular basis and make appropriate changes, so you end up saving money in the long run.
Pay Yourself First
My father made himself a millionaire with a 7th grade education. What he taught me was to take 10% from your paycheck before you pay your bills. He had a saying, “If you make a dime, save a penny.” He taught me this when I was nine years old!
Teach Your Children When They Are Young
So that brings us to the next important step. Teach your children as soon as they are able understand the value of money. When my children was 3 years old I took them to the bank and helped them to open a savings account. Every week we would go to the bank and they would deposit their savings.
Where did the money come from you may be wondering. It came from they getting ten cents every time they put their toys. I paid them in pennies so that they could figure out what they made and take some for a treat, like an ice cream cone.
Credit Card Debt
Debt is a vicious cycle and credit card debt is probably the worst debt trap of all. Numerous frustrated consumers cannot understand why their debt does not lessen even after 10 years of making payments. There is no use saving when in debt; it is advisable to get rid of the debt first. Check on the following:
- Clearing the credit card debt before using money to pursue other goals saving is pointless when the interest earned on savings is nowhere near what is paid out toward credit card loans.
- Putting a plan in place to pay off the debt and adhering to the plan
- Making use of credit card rewards and interest free periods for personal financial benefit
Acquire knowledge about various saving plans available to be able to make informed decisions about what saving options to choose. Consider the following:
- Make a sizeable contribution to your employer’s 401k retirement plan
- Contribute to an alternate saving plan to supplement retirement income
- Based on eligibility, making a contribution to a Roth IRA
- Automatic saving account into which a direct deposit is automatically made on a weekly or monthly basis
Formulate a personal investment strategy and stick to it even when money is in short supply.
- Invest idle cash
- Take advantage of tax advantaged accounts such as IRAs