There’s one thing everyone has in common when it comes to their finances. It doesn’t matter whether you have a high net worth or are currently thousands of dollars in debt. It’s worth it to ask yourself a few common financial questions from time to time. Think of these questions as a way to make sure you’re on course to meeting your goals or as a way to help yourself get on course.
Can I Afford This?
From an expensive cup of coffee to a pair of designer sneakers, it’s worth it to ask yourself if you can afford an item before any purchase. When it comes to buying things, there are a lot of voices who are trying to influence you. For example, if you are considering buying a home, your lender might approve you for a mortgage that is actually more than you can realistically afford each month. The real estate agent might show you houses that are beyond your budget. When you’re out with friends, you might feel pressured to spend more than you had initially planned to. Before buying or ordering anything, take the time to truly think about whether the purchase fits into your budget. If not, take a look at your other options.
How’s My Emergency Fund?
No matter where you are financially, one of the common financial questions that is worth asking is how your emergency fund is doing. If your fund doesn’t exist yet, it’s worth it to start to put at least some money aside. Start with trying to save $1,000, just to have some cushion in case of an unexpected financial issue, such as car trouble or an injury. Once you’ve got the first $1,000 in the bank, keep adding to it, bit by bit, until you’ve set aside several months worth of income.
What Are My Financial Goals?
Your financial goals will change as you get older and as your needs change, so it’s a good idea to regularly review your goals and make sure you’re on your way to reaching them. For example, your goal might be to pay off your credit card debt. Once you’ve successfully done so, what is your next goal? It might be to start saving for a house or to use the money you were putting towards the debt to start a retirement account. When asking yourself this question, you can break it down into increments. What are your goals for a year from now, for five years from now, and where do you see yourself financially in 10 years?
Who Can Help Me?
No matter your financial goals or situation, you don’t have to make sense of it all your own. There are a number of financial professionals out there who’s job it is to help you carve out a path. For example, the credit counselors at CESI can help you assess your current situation and recommend the steps to take to help you create a budget, pay off debt, or otherwise work towards your goals.
There may be times in life when you get off course when it comes to your money. Regularly taking a step back and evaluating things will not only help you avoid going too far off course. It will also help you adjust and reset yourself when and as needed.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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