The first week in October is Financial Planning Week, and many community banks and financial institutions take that time to provide tips and tricks to promote fiscal wellness with free investment advice. Part of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) drive to increase consumer awareness of monetary decisions and how to invest for the future, there are a few top tricks to making sure your plan is on track.
Understand your overdraft
Opening an account may seem easy enough, but if you aren't managing your finances appropriately, chances are you may stray into the red and incur some penalties. Banks are allowed to charge for each use of an overdraft credit line, some upwards of $30 per transaction. While these fees have been brought under better control, using mobile banking can help consumers keep a close eye on balances and avoid these fees.
Make a budgetWhether it's saving for a vacation, paying back old debts or simply trying to put funds away for retirement, having a financial calculator and other tools that monitor income and expenses can help balance a personal portfolio. The FPA wrote that about one-third of a person's income should go to housing, and about 15 percent to both transportation and food. Adjusting to meet these figures can help maintain a balanced budget that promotes better financial wellness.
Pay down balances
If you can afford to pay off credit cards and other bills every month, do it. Washington Square News wrote on behalf of the FPA that paying interest continually on balances will only force you to pay more in the end, with interest continually compounding on the remaining outstanding amount due. In some instances, making a minimum payment will only reduce interest temporarily, while the primary balance continues to add on at the regular rate.
Work with your goalsA diversified investment strategy is not right for everyone. There are different game plans for different goals, so short-term payoffs or moves with a longer maturation date may be right for some people and not others. The FPA wrote that making sure money isn't too spread out is the best way for investors of all scopes to ensure financial fitness. As the source pointed out, if one of these investments does well, it won't really create any effect for other assets, making it a less worthwhile strategy.