How To Tell If Your Finances Are On The Right Track

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 27, 2018

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Personal Finance
December 27, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

You, like many people, may feel insecure about your personal finances. You are saving money and trying to spend wisely, but is that enough to put you on the right track financially? No matter your income bracket, there are ways to get the most out of your money while preparing for the future. While you may never be wealthy, you can maximize your assets.

People who are good with money live according to a budget. You need to track all of your expenses and keep track of deposits and expenditures. Once you really study your finances, you should be able to find ways to cut your expenses. Often, people are shocked to learn how much they spend on eating out, for instance. Once you become aware, you can allocate a particular amount for that activity each month.

You are taking a fiscally responsible step when you establish an emergency fund in a regular, easily accessible savings account. At a minimum, you should have three months worth of living expenses in this fund, although six months will obviously give you more security in case of a job loss or illness. When trouble strikes, and it always does, you won’t have to panic.

Retirement is expensive, and you have to work longer these days to collect your full social security benefit. Plus, SS payments are not nearly enough to allow you to live comfortably. People who are on the right financial track have established retirement funds like an IRA or 401(k) and are working with an adviser to put away enough money each year. Unfortunately, too many people hit retirement age without sufficient funds, so they end up working well into their 70s or beyond.

You are protecting your money when you plan your purchases and avoid impulse buying. Overspending, particularly on unnecessary items, is what gets many people in serious debt. When it comes to major items, never buy on your first shopping expedition. Look around, take a day or two to think about it, and then complete your purchase.

You may well be doing better with your money than you think. Being good at finances doesn’t mean you have accumulated great wealth. Rather, it indicates that you live within your means while planning for the future. If you fit in this category, you are indeed on the right financial track.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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