Sometimes, your money situation can feel like a train you don’t know how to operate. And there are a LOT of tracks to choose between.
Right? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, set aside some time to work through it. Start by writing down (or typing, because it’s the twenty-first century) the finance-y things that are stressing you out. Maybe it’s credit card debt, student loans, your 401(k) or just the monthly bills that don’t stop coming. Identifying whatever is holding you back can help you decide what to prioritize. And don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Things like Bank of America Life Plan® (more on that later) can help.
This is also a good time to look at bank and credit card statements to get a grip on how much money you really have and how much you owe. Yes, we’re talking totals.
Take note of a few other numbers. Like…
Your salary – net and gross. Aka the number on your new hire paperwork, but also what you take home after taxes and deductions.
How much money your money is making. Told you those bank statements would come in handy. Take another peek. This time, look for the letters “APY.” That’s your yearly reward for saving money. The gov says the national avg is around 0.05%...but the more, the money–ier.
Your credit score. Most models go up to 850, and higher is better. But anywhere above 670 should put you in a good spot to impress lenders. Aaand get the most favorable rates on loans.
With all that info, you can make a plan to do all you can with whatever you have.
It gets better. Now that you’ve confronted your financial anxieties and rounded up some important figures, it’s time for the fun part. Where you think about what you want in the future. Maybe it’s related to some of the stressors you identified before, but no worries if not.
Here’s some unsolicited inspo: live that debt-free life, buy a new house or car, tie the knot, improve your credit, fatten up your rainy day fund, or put away enough to have a v luxe retirement. Psst...there are no wrong answers. It’s all about imagining the life you want. Next step: turn it into reality.
Ask, and you shall receive. First and foremost, you should put some regular money check-ins on your cal. Just you, your phone/computer, and whoever remembers all your passwords. This is the time when you’ll evaluate your progress and make any changes or adjustments. Enter: Life Plan. It’s like a super easy-to-use planner, but not just for one year. Use it to set and track short- and long-term goals based on your priorities. And get personalized advice and recommendations so you can take steps that will help you, ya know, achieve them. Life Plan also makes it easy to talk to a financial pro (virtually or IRL) if you want 1:1 support.
No one can afford to ignore their financial health. Even though it might be overwhelming, naming your fears and getting a full understanding of your current situation are important steps in making a plan to get where you want to go. Head here to learn more about Life Plan and try it for yourself. Your wallet says ‘thanks.’
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Skimm'd by Elizabeth Smith and Jessica Kelly