April is Financial Literacy Month. It’s a good time to reset your money mindset and get back to basics. Here are some budgeting tips for you to ring in the month.
Make it Automatic
Instead of relying on yourself to pay bills every month, set up auto payments. Most banks and credit unions have this option, you just have to set it up. You should also automate savings. Set aside a specific amount to automatically be deposited into your savings accounts so that the money is out of sight, out of mind.
Stock Your Fund
Your emergency fund is your friend. Make sure you have at least six months of expenses stashed away to cover life’s unexpected obstacles.
Pay Down Debt
If you’re struggling with debt, make a plan to address it. Search your budget for areas where you can save, and use that money on the debt. Pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first, then go from there. If you can handle paying down debt quickly, look into a balance transfer card.
Invest in the Future
Hopefully, your employer offers a 401(k). If they do, make sure you’re doing your best to hit any employer matches that are available. That’s free money. If your company doesn’t offer a 401(k), open a Roth IRA and start contributing right away.
Check Your Report
Make sure you’re monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies. Incorrect info can drag your score down, and a low score can hurt your financial life in many different ways.