Financial Fitness Checklist

Mar 28, 2011 | Tips & Alerts

When spring arrives, many people begin cleaning, organizing, getting in shape for the summer... It's also a great time to take a look at how fit you are financially - and take any necessary steps toward achieving true financial fitness.

Set financial goals – Think about what you really want to do with your money. Determine how much each of those financial goals will cost and divide that by the number of months you have to achieve them. That’s the amount you’ll need to set aside each month.

Develop a budget – Track your monthly expenses, and subtract the total from your income. If more is going out than coming in, consider ways to reduce your spending or add to your income.

Establish a savings plan – Having a few months of essential living expenses in a liquid savings account provides stability and peace of mind. Make deposits into savings automatic by updating your direct deposit designations.

Review your retirement plan – Make the most of your income by contributing to a tax-deferred retirement plan. Don’t miss out on compound interest, and if your employer matches your contributions, free money!

Use credit wisely – You can use credit to your advantage by only charging when you can afford to repay the balance in full. Use loans for goal achievement, such as starting a business, buying a home, or paying for an education.

Check your credit report – Access your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus, then review them for accuracy and dispute any incorrect items. You can receive a free copy of each once a year from  annualcreditreport.com, 877.322.8228.

Manage your money – Designate a space in your home to conduct your money management business, keep your private financial information, and organize bills so they don’t get lost under a stack of other mail.

We want to help you to achieve lasting financial fitness, which is why we've partnered with BALANCE. As a benefit of membership, BALANCE will provide all SCE FCU members with free, confidential financial education and counseling. Their professional advisors can help you develop a budget, manage your debt, and review your credit report. To find out more, call us or visit the Money Tools section of our website.