Financial tools to help you reach your goals - Celebrations 2
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Financial tools to help you reach your goals

January is a time for fresh starts. Chances are you are among the two-thirds of Americans that are dissatisfied with the way that their lives are currently. Per an article in the Huffington post, Americans aren’t blaming the lack of wealth.

A lot of people had to cut back in the recession. Learning to live with less proved first hand that quality of life is not equal to the number in your bank account. By focusing more on experiences instead of collecting things we can shift our focus to building relationships. Which will long outlast the new iPhone.

So we know money can’t buy happiness… but the lack of money sure can cause stress.

The other side of that coin only 20% of American don’t carry a debt of any kind. That means an estimated 2.6 Billion people are in debt. The most common types are home, car and student loans. There are of course many people living with credit card debt as well.

Take Charge of your Finances

As we enter 2017 there are no doubt millions of people looking at their personal financial situations and wanting to make a positive change. To take control of their finances, banish unnecessary debt and save for the future. Below are a few tips for common financial problems to help you start saving for the future you want.

Master The Dreaded Credit Report

If you are looking into buying a house anytime soon, or taking on a loan for any other reason you are going to have to have a good credit. Debt helps credit, if you make routine timely payments of course. Credit is a fickle mistress. Checking your credit report too often can ding your score.

Fear not! Credit Karma allows you to monitor your credit score without requesting a formal report. You can see where you are lacking and make improvements from there so you are ready when the application process rolls around.

Need Help Keeping Track?

If you are just trying to get a handle on where your money goes every month there’s an app for that. You can either link purchases to your account and have them categorized automatically or you can hand input each one. With these apps you can see exactly how much you are spending on cookies in a month (scary!) From there you can adjust the budgeted amount for each line item and cut back where appropriate to reach your goals.

Try these free tools for budgeting
Great for those who want to link to their bank account for free.
Great for those who want to hand input each expense or just create a budget template

Automate your Savings

A great way to save is to take it out before you notice it’s gone. If your company has to match- be sure that you are contributing the max amount from your paycheck. You can always lower it if you are really feeling the pain.

These apps let you chose what kind of savings account you want, where to invest and how much. You can also schedule automatic payments and reap the set it and forget it benefits.

Of course these are only a few suggestions. There are many great apps out there to help you reach your financial goals- whatever they may be. And big or small, we could all use a little help figuring out where we are going.