Blue sky, crisp air, and an explosion of color on trees. It’s the perfect fall day. However, the perfect fall day looks bleak if you’re lugging around the anxiety of financial burden. As you begin to burrow in for the winter, don’t let your monetary planning go into hibernation. MBT Bank encourages you to take these five steps towards achieving financial freedom.
- Develop a game plan: Without goals or knowing where you stand to begin, you’re wandering down an aimless financial path. Sit down and figure out exactly what’s on your plate, from income and investments to student loans and car payments. Then, nail down what you’re shooting for: a house? Another child? A foreign vacation?
- Get on the same page as your partner: Long-term planning is moot if your partner’s sights are set elsewhere. Each of you should write down your perception of your current financial state, as well as a list of goals. Then, compare answers. Identify common ground and spark conversation about points that don’t align.
- Create categories: Take a look at your expenses from the past three months, and throw them under one of three categories: Need, Want, and Like. Needs keep you alive – think food, shelter, and basic clothing. Wants add meaning to your life, like hobbies and items that give you identity. Likes are impulse buys that give you a momentary high, but leave you crashing as their costs add up. Budget around the “needs,” make room for a few “wants,” and slash out the “likes.”
- Make “debt” a four-letter word: Ignore the myth of “good debt.” Make it your #1 goal to pay off what you can ASAP. You’ll be able to focus on what really matters in the future rather than staying bogged down in the past.
- 5. Build safety nets: The strongest, most strategic financial plan can be brought to its knees by an emergency. If you haven’t started yet, set aside $1,000 now into an emergency fund. When your car breaks, roof leaks, or throat aches, you can dip into this pot comfortably.
By planning for the long-term, you can squeeze the most joy out of your here and now. Our associates are here to help lighten your load. If you’d like to know more about our financial consultations and advising, contact your nearest MBT Bank today.
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