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Student Loans and Retirement: How a Student Loan Debt Consolidation Plan Can Help

by GBAF mag

If you are like many people today, the economy is in dire straights, and your financial situation is even worse than it was a short time ago. Are you looking for ways to get ahead? In this challenging economy, it is difficult to get ahead and stay ahead. But, there are several things that will help propel you in the right direction. Here are 10 financial keys to getting ahead.

Get Paid For What You Are Worth and Don’t Spend More Than You Make. Stick to a budget. Pay your bills on time. Pay off credit card debt and take out a savings account to invest for your future.

Save Your Money – Setting aside a portion of your salary for a rainy day is wise. An emergency fund helps with this. An emergency fund is simply money set aside in case of an emergency or unforeseen problem. A financial planner can help you set up a savings plan that meets your needs.

Create A Long-Term Plan – Set long-term goals that are attainable. Your goals should include long-term planning. For example, you may want to move up to a higher paying job or purchase a home in the next five years. A financial planner can help you set realistic goals and motivate you to meet these goals. He/she may also be able to create a workable budget and teach you how to live within the means set forth in the budget.

Know Your Retirement Plan – Know what your financial standing is. This information will help you set your goals and determine where you should go from here. It will also be helpful to know what the best course of action is to accomplish your goals. It may mean taking a different approach to your goals than you previously took in order to get there faster.

Save Money – Your current monthly paycheck should be more than enough to pay your bills. If you have extra money that you do not spend, put it in an emergency fund. There are many avenues to savings. You could save by getting rid of your credit card balances or even opening a checking account that has no fee. A financial planner can also guide you in this area.

Build Up Your Savings – If you have the goal of a retirement account or saving for a house in the near future, start building your savings now. You should set aside one percent of your income each week to save for these long-term goals. These short-term goals should not be unrealistic. Remember, these goals should be building towards your long-term goals.

Payoff Debt – Once your emergency fund is built up, you can move on to paying off debt with credit cards. Once you are debt free, you can save again and invest again. Your long-term goals will be more attainable than if you had a large balance on your credit card debt. This will also serve as a test run to see how much you can really save by yourself.

Be In Control – One of the top reasons people do not save enough money is they feel they have too much going on in their lives. The saying, “the future is what you make it,” holds true. If you have too many things going on in your life, you have less time to plan for your financial decisions. If you are already at a job you dread going to, you might want to consider changing jobs or taking a short break from the job to make some extra saving money.

Work on Your Retirement Plan – Another reason why many people fail to reach their financial goals is that they have no retirement plan. If you have a family, you may need to juggle work and family, along with your retirement plan. For others, financial goals change over time. Consider having a financial goal that is flexible. Many people have retirement accounts that are set up to let them grow at a certain rate. This allows them to adjust their financial plan as they reach different financial goals throughout their lives.

Know Your Budget – Is aware of your financial goals and how much you can afford to spend every week, month, and year helps you prepare for your financial planning and the start of your money. Know your monthly expenses including mortgage, food, car payment, and others. Ask a financial advisor for help with setting up a budget and how to stay on top of it. Having a tight monthly budget allows you to make necessary purchases such as groceries and utilities without worrying about hitting a roadblock in your quest to save.

Set Your Long-Term Goals – Finally, make sure to set your long-term goals. Many times people go into a financial plan, only to leave it half way. The best way to avoid this is to write down your long-term goals for savings, retirement, education, etc. and use a spreadsheet to track your progress towards those goals. When you are ready to take the big leap, you will be ready to take advantage of a significant boost in your financial power.