3 Tips to Empower Your Financial Future

3 Tips to Empower Your Financial Future

In today’s world, having a good handle on your finances can mean the difference between getting the best rate on a loan or feeling stuck paying extra in interest. That’s why IBA has focused on empowering the local Boston community by providing a host of financial empowerment training classes and seminars, designed to teach residents the fundamentals behind budgeting, managing their credit, even negotiating credit card terms with banks. The key to successfully managing your money is rooted in being aware of what you spend, how you spend, and in finding ways to cut unnecessary costs.

For October, financial empowerment month, here are three additional financial literacy tips to get you well on your way to improving your credit score, lowering your monthly expenses, and having a better financial future.

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Many people have a budget, however, the key is to implement your budget and follow it every month. If you have only allotted $50 for entertainment expenses such as going to the movies or eating out, then you must follow this rule for yourself. Often, we create budgets, but don’t track how well we are following it, or worse, never track how much we are actually spending. This month, we encourage you to review what you spend and begin to put financial “rules” in place to help you curb any wasteful spending.

  2. Make a plan to save. There is never too little to save. Whether you make a plan to save $5 a week or $50 a week, the key is to get in the habit of putting money aside. And, thanks to mobile apps, you can automatically deduct money and have it put into a savings account. For example, the Digit app enables you to connect your checking account and its algorithm calculates how much you can afford to save without having it impact your ability to pay your bills. In this way, the app pulls small amounts of money throughout the month and stores it in a savings account for you. So, your savings is completely done in the background without you ever having to do it yourself, or even noticing the money is gone.

  3. Check your credit score. Every American adult is entitled to one free credit report every year. We often recommend requesting your copy every year on your birthday. This ensures that you don’t forget to do it every year and keeps you on top of any erroneous information that has been reported to the credit reporting agencies. If you have delinquent accounts impacting your credit, then seeking assistance from a credit report repair specialist can be a good strategy. Either way, knowing where you stand and establishing a plan to get your credit to where it needs to be should be top priority.

To learn more about IBA's financial empowerment classes, click here.