Like most of life’s necessary tasks — exercising, eating healthy, setting aside time for family, getting up and going to work — keeping careful track of your finances is also a must. But nevertheless, a number of people neglect to care for their numbers, and they pay the price.
The good news is that there are so many resources out there that help to educate people on the proper financial habits – you just have to look for them. Continue reading to unveil 5 easy, accessible financial resources and practices.
- Maintain organized records of expenses and income. Financial management starts with keeping records of all of your major expenses, as well as the income you earn. Do you need to keep that $8 McDonald’s receipt? No. But you should certainly keep a record of receipts and statements from larger, more important expenses, such as: utility and energy bills, mortgage or rent payments, and even pay stubs. Why, you ask? You never know when you will need various documentation in the future, possibly at the request of the IRS or even for your own personal reference. (Tip: to save space, you should look into keeping a spreadsheet that tracks your income and spending.)
- Refer to financial blogs and websites. There are a large number of online resources that can help to cure your financial obliviousness. Blogs like The Penny Hoarder and Wise Bread are two of my favorites. Online financial sites, such as these, usually provide some interesting perspectives concerning finance.
- Attend a seminar. You might not even be aware, but there are a number of financial health seminars taking place in your area- you just have to keep your eyes open. These info sessions are a great way to connect with an expert on a more in-depth, personal level. Most of the time, the individual who conducts the seminar will take questions during and at the very end. And while some of these seminars are at a cost, SeaComm has introduced a complimentary financial health seminar series, hosted by its own Personal Financial Advisor, Mat Hastings. To find out more, give him a call at (315)764-0566 ext. 555, cell: (315) 296-5188, or email at Mathew.Hastings@cunamutual.com
- Books. For just a few dollars, you can learn some practical tips and techniques that will give you the insight into healthy financial living. I highly recommend “Debt-Proof Living” by Mary Hunt, and the audio book “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. The more you read, the more you know, right?
- Shift your thinking. It is often our way of thinking that keeps us from growing, in this case, financially. To increase your financial IQ and to enhance your financial well-being, you’ll need to start thinking more about building wealth than your next big purchase. When your focus is on spending, your financial IQ will remain low. But when you start thinking about how to save more money, you’ll begin to make better decisions which follow that mindset, therefore enhancing your financial IQ.