Welcome back to the Financing Your Life series on conquering your finances in 2015. If you haven’t yet read part one, you can find it here. Today, let’s look at another five simple steps you can take to start getting your finances under control for good.
- Consider making an IRA contribution … or two. If you have a Traditional IRA, you may qualify for a tax deduction when you make a contribution. If you contribute the max amount between now and April 15, 2015, you can earmark the contribution for the 2014 tax year and get some savings on last year’s taxes. Then you know what you can do? Contribute the savings you get from 2014 into the IRA for a 2015 tax deduction!
- Balance your checkbook. There is no way to guarantee financial success without balancing your checkbook regularly. Not only will this help keep your spending on track but it will also alert you to mistakes, automatic monthly charges that you want to stop, and help ensure you hold yourself accountable to your budget.
- Step up your debt repayment. If you’re only making minimum payments on your debt, it’s time to push yourself further. Try to pay 10 percent more on each of your debts and loans. Once that begins to feel comfortable, you can increase your payments by 20 percent.
- Get disability insurance. So many people don’t realize that Social Security disability is extremely difficult to get and doesn’t come through for short-term disabilities. By securing short- and long-term disability policies, you never have to worry about qualifying for—or waiting on—Social Security.
Start your emergency savings fund. You should be working on saving up six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund in order to cover disasters like a job loss, broken appliance or car problems. If this sounds too hard, start by saving just $10 a week. Once you get used to that, increase it to $15, then $20, then $30. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice chunk of cash set aside to help you get through any tough times that may be ahead