Finance 101: Staying Smart with Your Money

Man and woman on laptop computer

Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? If you are just starting out in your career or have a child or grandchild who is, here are some money management tips to consider:

Establish a budget.

Some people hear “budget” and think “sacrifice,” but in reality, a budget can help you get where you want to be. Try tracking your spending for a few months – you might be surprised to learn where your money is going. Look for ways to cut your spending and boost your savings.

Keep your debt under control.

Did you know that the amount of money you owe makes up almost one-third of your credit score?* While some debt (such as a car payment or a mortgage) is necessary, try to take on only the amount of debt you can comfortably handle each month.

Contribute to a retirement savings plan.

The earlier you start saving, the more likely you are to reach your retirement savings goal. And if you don’t have a goal yet, be sure to discuss this with your financial advisor. He or she can look at your entire financial picture and help you develop a retirement savings strategy that fits your life.

Review, review, review.

Remember those final exams in college? Which was more helpful: reviewing the information periodically, or waiting until the night before to cram for the test? When it comes to your finances, periodic reviews with your financial advisor can help you stay on track and avoid cramming to try to meet your important financial goals.

Your strategy shouldn’t end with Financial Literacy Month. Your financial advisor is there to help you stay smart with your money year-round.

Important information:

*Source:, Jan. 25, 2017.

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