STEP 10: Keys to Financial Planning
One of the most important keys to financial planning is to begin saving money. Investing and saving money, even in small amounts, will mean a huge difference to your financial picture in the years to come.
Here are our tips to begin saving and investing money even if you are in debt.
Financial Planning Tips for Saving and Investing
1. Set up Bank Accounts
Set up bank accounts for both checking and savings. Money in an accredited bank is safe. The federal government insures bank deposits against loss for up to $100,000 per depositor.
2. Search Out The Best Interest Rates And Terms
Ask about each of the bank accounts your bank provides and select which accounts work best for you. Don't forget to check the terms. An account with a high interest rate may sound attractive, but may require you to keep a certain amount of money in it to get that rate. A lower interest account may suit your needs more.
3. Check The Fees
One of our best money saving tips is also one of the simplest. While checking the interest rates and terms of your bank's accounts, don't forget to ask about the fees for each type of account. Bank account and credit card fees can cost us hundreds of dollars every year. With a few questions and a bit of comparing you can save yourself a lot of money.
4. Comparison Shop
Don't just check out the bank closest to you. Comparison shop and evaluate each institution's interest rates, terms and fees. Doing this for each investment you make will ensure you make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
You can do a lot of the leg work online as well. Financial institutions will often outline the terms of their accounts and investment options on their websites.
5. Save Money Automatically!
The best way to make sure you save money each month is to have it automatically withdrawn from your bank account. Some employers offer an automatic payroll withdrawal for saving and investing your money. If your employer does, and it looks attractive, take advantage of it. If they don't, check out automatic withdrawals to savings and investment vehicles with your bank and other financial institutions. This is probably the one single best of our financial planning tips.
6. Pay Bills The Auto-Pay Way
The more you can automate the better when it comes to saving money. Many of your bills can be set up for automatic payment from your bank account each month. Bills such as gas, electric and cable can often be set up this way. Check with each company to see what their policy is. It is a great way to make sure bills are paid on time. It is also a real time saver.
7. Check Out Online Banking And Virtual Banks
With some banks you can save money by doing much of your banking online. There are also virtual banks, which can offer higher savings rates and low fees, but have no physical bank to walk into. These can be terrific options for saving and investing money. Combine online banking with an online budgeting system and you can really get ahead of the game!
You may need to have a physical bank as well, especially if you do not have automatic paycheck deposit available to you. And remember location. If you will need to physically go to the bank on a regular basis, you will be more likely to use your bank account if the bank is fairly close to your home or workplace.
8. Set up an Education Fund
Providing your children with a higher education is expensive these days. If you have children, consider an education fund. If you start saving money early for your children's education, you can set aside a little each month and let it build. Education funds can be excellent financial planning tools for you and your family.
Note: Remember to check the terms. Be wary of funds that MUST be used for education only. If your kids decide not to go to college, you may have difficulty getting your money back. (More info about an education savings plan here.)
9. Saving For Retirement
One of the best financial planning tips we can offer is to start saving money for retirement early. The longer you have to build your retirement nest egg, the sooner you will be able to retire if you choose, and the more likely you will be able to live comfortably in your retirement years. So put aside whatever you can now and let it build.
10. Find A Financial Advisor
As you begin saving money and investing it, it is a good idea to work with a financial advisor. A good financial advisor is another key player in your financial planning and has the expertise to develop an investment plan that suits your goals and budget. Shop around and find a financial advisor you can develop a good working relationship with.
Following these financial planning tips will help you get started on saving money (and investing it), to create the future you want for yourself and your family.
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To achieve financial freedom, ideas such as: listening to good advice, learning how to make a budget, understanding credit repair possibilities, avoiding the scams, and generally becoming more knowledgeable of the credit card business, can all play a role in eliminating credit card and other debt. There is A smarter way to manage your money.