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Financial Planners Advise Building A Budget, And These Credit Cards Can Help

[Thursday, January 25th, 2018]

After getting in shape, saving money is probably people’s next highest-priority resolution when the new year begins. In fact, for many people, it might even be number one on the list. If paying off debt and socking away savings is something you’d like to do this year, financial planners have some advice for you: make a budget, and then stick to it.

Jill Schlesinger, certified financial planner, says creating a realistic, accurate budget is the best way for folks to have long-term success with getting their finances in shape. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says that the average American saves less than four percent of their income, and another bank survey shows that more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings at any given time.

So, how to get people saving more money? One way is to get them to pay down debt, so they can afford to put more funds away. And to accomplish both these things, a budget is useful. But many people are reluctant to make, or abide by, a budget.

Financial expert Schlesinger addresses this reluctance. “Psychologists note that change requires new thinking,” explains Schlesinger. “Instead of hyper-focusing on the budget itself, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. These goals are your goals, what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and if you fall off the wagon, re-focus your efforts, be mindful and get back on track.”

One thing that can be very helpful for folks trying to create and follow a budget is to use a credit card for most of their spending, and then take advantage of the online tools offered by the card. Spending analysis and debt payment calculators are just two of the things that can help people look clearly at what they are spending, how they’re spending it, and how they can pay it off.

Here are Schlesinger’s top tips for getting finances on track for 2018 and beyond:

  • Pay off credit card balances, auto loans, and student debt
  • Put away enough savings to cover six to 12 months of living expenses
  • Maximize your retirement savings: put your maximum contribution toward 401(K)s, 403(b)s and IRAs.

With these goals in mind, as well as a great credit card that offers useful financial tools, you can make your resolutions a reality this year.

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