As we celebrate women throughout the month of March, keep in mind that in whole, women tend to earn less, have less money to save, and live longer than men. This can make planning for our retirement years a bit more difficult, yet not impossible.
Here are a few steps to help safeguard your financial wellbeing now and into your future.
Create a Healthy Budget
Budgets can be key when setting a savings plan. Budgets give you a lane to stay in. They take the question out of how much you should spend on something. However, if your budget does not match your financial situation, they can also get you off track. Your budget should correspond to your needs and the practicality of what you should spend.
Click Here to download my budget planner spreadsheet that I use every month to keep me in my lanes.
Always keep these tips in mind when creating your budget:
- Make a financial plan that fits your financial situation.
- Keep track of your spending and cash flow.
- Build a buffer of $500 to $800 to avoid living paycheck to paycheck
Get Rid of High-Interest Debt
Work on eliminating those that charge more than 7% interest rate. Pick the card with largest interest rate and get that one paid off first. This will motivate you and excite you to move on to the next!
This calculator shows how long it will take to payoff debt. It can be used for any loan, credit card debt, student debt, personal, business, car, house, etc… Debt Payoff Calculator
Keep Track of Your Credit Score
Get a free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com. To improve your score, pay off all credit card balances each month, or at least keep the outstanding balance to less than 30% of available credit.
Create at least two accounts, one for retirement and the other for emergency savings. This keeps funds in their own baskets so that you are not dipping into your retirement savings for other uses.
There are not any set in stone rules when it comes to how much you should have in each of these accounts, however the general rule that I like to live by is to save 2.5% of your annual income in a retirement account and at least 3 months worth of expenses in your emergency fund.
Invest when you can, but do this after your savings are well-funded. Fort Worth Community Credit Union offers great investment options. Even if you are not sure if you are ready to invest, reach out for a consultation. Contact Fort Worth Community Investments today to find out more!