Now just because you may wonder what does ira stand for at this moment, doesn’t mean that you are too far behind, it just might take some tweaking to get you there. Time goes by so fast, tomorrow is already Friday, and we’re almost into March, so as the years go by without getting ahead in your finances, now is as good of time as any to really adapt money behaviors that will set you up for success for years to come, provided you can stick to them.
Check Your Credit
It may not be on the top of the list for most of us, but you just never know who has gotten ahold of your information these days, whether it was taking a picture of your card at the gas pump or if you left your card out too long when paying a bar tab, it apparently is pretty easy for your info to be compromised, just as the many stores that even they are getting hacked. If you can pull a copy of your credit report at least once a year, you can ensure everything is accurate and up to date, and the three major credit bureaus offer a free copy of your credit report once a year.
Give Yourself a Cushion
Much like never knowing who has your info, you never know what life is going to throw at you when it comes to expenses, so it’s best to be as prepared as you can. Whether it’s a vet bill, or needing to fix your car, it’s a good idea to have at least a few months worth of expenses in an account to cover so you don’t have to put on a credit card if any unexpected charges do come up.
When it comes to getting ahead, in order to free up extra money, some sacrifices need to be made in order to reduce expenses. From avoiding going out to eat and going grocery shopping to prepare meals at home can really add up quickly, not to mention even cutting your cable bill and going with a streaming service that you probably are mostly watching anyways, could free up hundreds of dollars a month combined and with that extra money you can work on paying off debt, continuing to build up your emergency fund, and really saving for retirement, which will approach quicker than you think.
Increase Retirement Contributions
Although it may be decades until you do retire, that doesn’t mean you should wait until down the road to focus on retirement. If you are able to save now and gradually increase contributions every year you can feel less of the financial burden missing that money, while maximizing retirement and having time to grow. Take a look at work to see if you are missing out on any employer-matching contributions, which is free money that you could be leaving on the table if you aren’t contributing the max of what they will match in your account.