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It sounds nice, but it’s actually a way for banks to tempt you to overspend, and then charge a fee for the privilege. Find out more about overdraft protection and other banking mistakes to avoid. According to one study, friends with similar traits can pick up good habits from each other—and it applies to your money too!

Financial Article

If you keep both your accounts at the same bank, it’s easy to transfer money from your savings to your checking. Dipping into your retirement funds early will hurt you many times over. For starters, you’re negating all the hard work you’ve done so far saving—and you’re preventing that money from being invested. Second, you’ll be penalized for an early withdrawal, and those penalties are usually pretty hefty. Finally, you’ll get hit with a tax bill for the money you withdraw. All these factors make cashing out early a very last resort. Because money you put in your retirement fund now will have more time to grow through the power of compound growth.

You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals. Your net worth—the difference between your assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell you where you stand financially. Keep an eye on it, and it can help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding. Authors may republish any article originally published at Financial-Portal. com anywhere at any time. Authors are requested, however, to make reference to the Financial-Portal. com as the original publication. We prefer unpublished contributions; when submitting articles previously published elsewhere, the author must mention this fact at the time of the submission.

On the other hand, it’s important that you have enough insurance to protect your dependents and your income in the case of death or disability. If you’re contributing to a retirement plan and a savings account and you can still manage to put some money into other investments, all the better. An important step to consider when trying to get ahead financially is budgeting. After all, how can you know where your money is going if you don’t budget? How can you set spending and saving goals if you don’t know where your money is going?

Save up an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, so you aren’t tempted to use a credit card to cover them. Your budget is one of the biggest tools that will help you succeed financially.

You need to set up a budget whether you make thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Peggy James is a CPA with 8 years of experience in corporate accounting and finance who currently works at a private university, and prior to her accounting career, she spent 18 years in newspaper advertising. Deborah Fowles has written about personal finance issues for The Balance. If your parents or other family members are good with money, consider asking them for help, and talking to them about what worked for them financially and what they would have done differently. Once you have grown your savings and want to begin investing to increase your wealth, speak to a financial planner to help you make wise investment decisions. Sell unused or unwanted items around your home to find extra money to add to your debt repayment plan. Once you are totally out of debt, commit to staying out of debt.

It allows you to create a spending plan so you can allocate your money in a way that will help you to reach your goals. Once you’ve accomplished these three things and have followed through on your new plan for a few months, you may find that you have extra cash, and the money you free up from your debt payments can be used to reach your next round of goals. A financial plan is essential in helping you reach your financial goals. A sample plan might include creating a monthly budget and spending plan, then getting out of debt.

So try gathering several friends for regular money lunches, like this woman did, paying off $35, 000 of debt in the process. One study showed that more exercise leads to higher pay because you tend to be more productive after you’ve worked up a sweat. Plus, all the habits and discipline associated with, say, running marathons are also associated with managing your money well. Just ask this author, who paid off $20, 000 of debt after realizing that taking control of her finances was a way to value herself.