Leave These Financial Habits in 2019
A new decade is around the corner and many people are leaving their bad habits in the past. The number one thing Americans want for 2020? Financial freedom. Most people have debt nowadays. The amount can differ drastically, but many Americans hold consumer debt, caused by the ease of credit cards and the “I’ll pay it later” attitude. Digging yourself out of debt can be difficult, but not piling more on top can be even harder. Here are a few financial habits we all should leave in 2019 for a debt-free future.
One of the first steps to financial flexibility is becoming debt-free. I know, I know, easier said than done. Many people find themselves in piles of debt through impulse purchases. It may seem harmless at first, but over time these purchases add up when combined with interest. Stop this determinantal habit by creating a plan next time you shop. If you’re looking for specific items, try researching online before you purchase anything—not only will you avoid spontaneous buys, but you may find better deals.
Using Credit Cards for the Points
Most credit card companies offer rewards for using the card. We all know this is a tactic to rack up the bill, but many people try to outsmart the companies by paying off the balance right away. However, many end up forgetting or delaying the payment for months. It’s easy to jack up the bill for the sake of points and then spend the money before you can pay the balance. Instead, try dedicating one or two recurring purchases, such as groceries, gas, or a gym membership, and paying them off the moment you charge it. Most banks have smartphone apps, so paying a balance can take minutes no matter where you are.
No Debt Plan
Debt is scary. Owing money you don’t have while still having plenty of other bills can send anyone into a panic. Luckily, the entire balance isn’t due at the end of each billing cycle. Many people take advantage of this by paying off the minimum balance. This can eventually clear debt, but it’ll take much longer and more money. Consider creating a debt plan. A simple way is to tackle the debts individually by sending your budget surpluses to that balance while others maintaining minimum payments until each account is cleared.
Saving is difficult. Between the endless bills and expenses, investing, and enjoying life, it’s easy to forget about saving. Instead of contributing to your savings sporadically, pay yourself first by adding to it once you get paid. The hardest part about saving is getting into the habit. Instead of the “I’ll save if I have it” mindset, remember that it’s a self-investment.
Not Preparing for Retirement
Retirement is the goal of most working Americans, yet so many don’t have a retirement plan. Sure, your 401k or IRA may be enough, but often it is not. Contribute as much as possible to your retirement accounts. Not sure if you’ll have enough for retirement? You may need supplemental income paths or decrease your expenses. Now is the time to find this out! A financial consultant can review your plan, project how much you’ll have, and how much you’ll need in retirement. They can also help fill in any expense gaps through different investments.
How far are you on your retirement journey? Haven’t’ started? Stuck somewhere in the process? RGA is here to help! Our holistic approach to retirement planning can potentially save you thousands and allow you to retire when you’re ready. Click the link below, call 1-800-467-8152, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary consultation. It’s never too early, or too late, to start your plan!
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