Daily life is demanding, and for many people managing your money and planning for the future are not priorities. You know it’s important, but you’re not sure how hard it will be and where to start. By taking even small steps you can be going in the right direction sooner than you think.
Setting goals can help you get started with a sound financial plan. Reducing debt, having an emergency fund, and planning for retirement are some common objectives. If you are carrying high-interest debt, reducing it will probably be your first goal. It is also important to build and maintain an emergency fund large enough to cover three to six months of expenses. Not having an emergency fund can lead to high-interest credit card debt or unpaid bills. Finally, it is never too soon, or too late, to plan for retirement. Amounts invested for your retirement should compound over time, so the sooner you get started the better, but you can benefit at any age. You can help turn a dream into reality by making it a financial goal. Determine the amount you want to save each month and make it a priority.
Unnecessary spending today can keep you from achieving long-term security and reaching your financial goals. Most people can easily account for how the majority of their money is spent, but for a full picture you should track your spending for a month, including things like coffees, online subscriptions and eating out. Using an online app or a spreadsheet can help you record and classify every dollar you spend. You will likely be surprised by how much you are spending in certain categories and easily be able to identify ways to cut back on unnecessary expenditures.
Ideally you should incorporate your financial goals and monthly expenses into a budget. Automating your savings and borrowing wisely will help you implement and maximize your budget. Having the amount you want to save each month automatically put into a dedicated account is one of the surest ways to help reach your goals. Borrowing wisely means matching the loan to the life of the product. In other words, use long-term credit for big purchases, and short-term credit for small purchases with a shorter life. For example, don’t use a home equity loan to finance a refrigerator or a couch.
Setting goals, planning and smart implementation are the foundation of sound financial practices for both individuals and corporations. At BEMC, our mission is the delivery of high-quality electric service at the lowest possible cost. We maintain annual operating and capital budgets and a 10-year financial plan to provide the cooperative with sufficient equity and capital to operate effectively and efficiently, and to ensure our future viability. We are taking care of the financial health of the cooperative which will help you in your pursuit of your own financial goals.
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