Are you in control of your money? Oftentimes, getting your finances in order is a process of trial and error that you learn from along the way. Reaching certain milestones is usually considered a symbol of financial maturity, but it’s really your attitude that paints an accurate picture. Here are a few signs that show whether you are on top of your finances or if you have a long way to go.
1. You Have Great Credit
Avoiding debt is a great way to stay above the water on your finances. While your credit score is not the sole factor of financial management, it sends a signal to those who might loan you money about how likely you are to pay back what you borrow. Your credit score takes into consideration how much debt you have and how you handle debt payments. Knowing and paying attention to your credit score is one indicator that you are on top of your finances. You can check your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.
2. You Know the Difference Between Wants & Needs
Having a budget is the best way to keep track of your incoming and outgoing cash — and shows a high level of financial insight. If you track your spending carefully and can distinguish your needs from your wants, or “extras,” you are likely in control of your finances. Once you know what is essential, you can plan ahead to attain the wants as well. It’s important to save for your wants in a way that doesn’t derail your needs.
3. You Prioritize
Setting goals and prioritizing where your money will go is important for your financial health. It’s important to list paying off high-interest debt or building an emergency fund above a luxury vacation or having the latest iPhone. Sometimes figuring out what is most important financially requires a shift in thinking, so it’s a good idea to re-evaluate often.
4. You Can Pay Bills & Still Save
Another great sign you have a healthy relationship with money? You aren’t stressed at the end of each month. If you really have your finances in order, paying bills on time and making savings deposits or investments aren’t a struggle. If you can comfortably afford all your bills and pay on time each month, that is a strong sign you are managing your finances well.
5. You Plan for the Future
Being financially proactive is important, so it’s important to look beyond the short-term and develop a plan for your future. Calculate how much you need to be saving for retirement and make a plan to get there. Figure out how much your ideal home or dream second property costs and get started on an account. If you have kids, create a strategy to help them fund their education. Consider any other lifelong goals and get your money in order to make them happen.
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