All around the country, it’s getting warmer and sunnier by the day. Plenty of people are rolling up their sleeves and planting seeds to get something beautiful growing. It takes a bit of time and effort, and the seeds don’t sprout right away. But it’s always worth the effort when the flowers begin to bloom.
Putting a bit of effort into your financial health works very much the same way. There are small steps you can take this month to improve your finances and it won’t be long until you see the results.
Will this be the season that you plant the seeds of better financial health? Here are some simple but powerful steps for your financial future that you can take today, so you can get started:
The first step toward improving your financial future is better budgeting. People often go through their day making individual choices about spending without looking at their big picture. It’s really valuable to step back and see where exactly your money is going.
Spend one month tracking all your spending – from the biggest things like mortgage or rent to the tiniest things, like a cup of coffee picked up while you’re out running errands – to get a clear sense of where your money is going.
Then, you can decide how you might use your income in ways that serve you better. One practical approach is the “50/30/20” rule: Make a plan for spending 50% of your after-tax income on things you need, 30% on things you truly want and the remaining 20% on savings or paying down debt.
Some people find that they need more than 50% of their income for things they need. In that case, eliminating unnecessary expenses and getting help with high-interest debt can put that “50/30/20” approach within reach.
Having a strong credit score is a great indicator of your financial health. If yours isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be, there are several ways you can begin improving your credit score today.
Credit scores are calculated by the three major credit reporting companies. One way to boost your score is to make sure all your utility bills and credit card bills are paid on time each month. So keep a calendar of the dates when these bills are due, and make sure your budget includes these payments.
Next, be sure to only apply for the credit cards you really need. Although it seems appealing when a store offers you a discount on your first purchase if you apply for their credit card, adding new cards to your wallet can tempt you to spend more than your budget allows.
But perhaps the best way to make progress on your credit score is to eliminate high-interest debt. A debt consolidation loan from 1st Franklin helps you convert snowballing credit card payments into a set monthly loan payment. You’ll have less money to pay back overall with this installment loan approach. And it will be easier to make each monthly payment because they will be affordable, fixed amounts instead of varying each month.
There’s no doubt that the best way to plant seeds for a beautiful financial future is to put aside a bit of money each month. With good advice on investing that money wisely, you can grow a small monthly amount into an impressive return in the future.
By working with 1st Franklin’s Investment Center, you can begin saving with an amount as small as $25. The key is getting all of the details, so you know exactly how your savings plan will work. One of our team members can walk you through all of the possible options for savings and investment with 1st Franklin Financial. And they’re happy to keep on answering your questions as your savings grows.
People all around the country will be outside planting seeds in the weeks to come. We wish them beautiful gardens and thriving crops, and we hope the seeds you plant bring you the brightest financial future possible.
If you have questions about any of these steps, the Friendly Franklin Folks are here to talk with you!