Every day, we all face numerous financial decisions and challenges. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes, we just need to be given proper direction. We often want to be told what we should do to make significant improvements to our finances.
That’s exactly what this article intends to do.
Below are 10 of the best things you can do with your money to help you reach your personal goals.
1. Build a financial plan and use it
Your financial plan exists for a very simple reason; to provide clarity and direction.
Your plan is able to provide that clarity by helping you navigate all the important areas of your financial life. This includes areas such as: insurance and risk, savings and retirement, debt management, estate planning, and more.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your plan is designed as a blueprint for success by showing you a snapshot of your current finances, where you can improve, what you should be focusing on, and how you can make those improvements.
In just 5 minutes you can get access to a free, personalized, and accurate financial plan through Savology. Just by building your free plan, you’ll easily save dozens of hours, and well over $1,000 every single year. All you need to do is click the button below to get started.
2. Get life insurance… especially if you have kids
Let’s be honest, no one enjoys talking about insurance – even though we all need it.
It’s easy to ignore it… until it’s not.
In general, insurance is one of the best tools you have access to that can protect your financial assets and your family’s financial future.
Life insurance in particular is put in place to make sure that your dependents are taken care of, which includes your spouse, children, and others you care for.
As a rule of thumb, unless you are quite wealthy or have no one depending on you financially, you should seriously consider life insurance.
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to life insurance is knowing how to get started and who you can trust.
Luckily for you, Savology works with several quality providers that can help you find the best and most affordable life insurance policy that fits your plan. These include:
You can easily get a free, no strings attached quote in minutes from each of the providers above. To improve your chances of success, it’s best to get multiple quotes to make sure you have access to the best policy and rates for your coverage.
You can also get a free quote from multiple providers instantly by filling in your details below:
3. Create or add to an emergency fund
An emergency fund can be one of the best financial resources to have in your corner.
They’re not just “rainy day” funds, and having an adequate emergency fund is certainly not overrated by any means.
As the name suggests, an emergency fund is there to use in the case of an emergency. It’s used as a backup reservoir that you can pull from if unexpected expenses arise such as: medical expenses, large home repairs, and sudden unemployment.
The importance of having a sufficient emergency fund cannot be stressed enough. Unfortunately it often takes a significant life event, or a global pandemic like COVID-19, for it to be recognized.
Savology recommends opening a separate account to keep your funds separate. This can be done through M1 Finance or Credit Karma (Savings). Both providers are well-trusted institutions with great reputations.
4. Create a monthly budget
It’s inevitable that budgeting made it on this list. For one reason: it works.
While budgeting might be boring, you cannot ignore the significance and importance it can have on your financial plan.
Budgeting exists to give you clarity when it comes to your spending and savings habits so that you are able to make better decisions and allocate your money more effectively.
You can certainly create your own monthly budget with spreadsheets, or you can work with providers that have basically perfected the process. Savology recommends providers like Mint and You Need A Budget (YNAB) that have made budgeting easy and effective. To help you make a decision on where you land, we recently broke down comparisons between YNAB and Mint, as well as EveryDollar and Mint.
If you’re looking for an easy and accurate way to review your current monthly budget, check out our monthly budget calculator.
For more information on what defines a budget, how it works, and how you can create one, you will want to check out our guide to budgeting.
5. Start investing to build your wealth
A good philosophy when it comes to investing is to invest early and invest often.
There’s no such thing as investing too early. Similarly, there is no such thing as not having enough money to invest.
Savology works with several providers that make investing extremely easy, quick, cost-effective, and even fun.
Whether you’re looking to invest for the short term or you’re in it for the long-haul to build up your retirement savings, you definitely want to take a look at each one of the providers below:
If you’re already investing and building your retirement fund, chances are you can still make improvements that will end up saving you thousands of dollars. Did you know that Blooom makes it easier to optimize and manage your retirement accounts? In just a few minutes, Blooom connects to your accounts (401k, 403b, 457, TSP, or IRA) to make recommendations that can reduce hidden fees.
6. Get disability insurance… sooner rather than later.
The fact is that you’re not invincible and the odds of getting a disability are against you.
You have a much higher probability of becoming disabled at an early age than you do of dying at an early age. The odds of you becoming disabled before you retire are around 1 in 3.
For these reasons, disability insurance should not just be an afterthought. Rather, it needs to be an integral part of your financial plan.
Disability insurance serves a very simple purpose. It’s there to protect your income and make sure that you have money coming in when you need it most and are unable to earn an income due to a disability.
In just a few minutes you can get a free quote from Policygenius to find out just how much disability coverage you can receive.
If you’re in the mindset of getting disability insurance later on, consider this: The longer you wait, the more expensive your premiums will be. Acquiring disability insurance earlier on is a great strategy to lock in cost-effective premiums.
7. Start planning your estate
Your estate plan takes into consideration things such as end-of-life care, custody of dependents, and how and when your wealth is distributed after you pass away.
Nominating successor guardians is one way to prescribe who gets custody of your dependents if something happens to you.
Did you know that in most circumstances, if you don’t appoint guardians, the courts have the power of deciding who provides care for your children? Not ideal.
But did you also know that you can nominate successor guardians in just a few minutes?
Savology makes nominating guardians a very easy and quick process. In just a few minutes, and for a fraction of the cost, you can nominate successor guardians for your children.
8. Get a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Health care can be one of the biggest expenses for individuals throughout their life.
That’s where an HSA comes into play. An HSA is a more cost-effective and tax-efficient way to handle medical expenses. These types of accounts are designed to help you pay for your current health care expenses and save for future health care expenses in a tax-advantaged way.
Having an HSA is like having a 401(k) for health care, only better.
9. Consolidate, eliminate, and optimize debts and loans
Last, but certainly not least, is your debts. You need to make sure that you are actively managing and taking care of any outstanding debts and liabilities.
The sad reality is that the majority of Americans are not only living with debt, but they have become complacent with debt. Most Americans are accepting risky debt as a new financial standard, without taking the proper amount of time to look for ways to manage their current debt obligations.
That’s the problem. There are various ways to better manage your existing debts that can put you in a much better position financially. Ultimately, this means paying significantly less in the amount of interest payments.
If you feel like you’re swimming debt, or at least feel like you should be paying less in interest, consider consolidating your debts. Credible makes it extremely easy to better manage your loans by consolidating them to reduce the amount you’re paying in interest.
Additionally, if your mortgage is up for a renewal or you’re looking at refinancing your mortgage loan, consider taking advantage of Box Home Loans platform to find out if that’s the right move for you.
In some cases, it is more effective to create a plan for your debts rather than just consolidate them. The Savvy Debt Payoff App is a financial tool that maps out a debt-payment plan for you by showing you exactly how you should be paying off your debts to save you thousands of dollars that would have otherwise gone to paying interest.
10. Improve your credit score
Credit is one of the most important components of your personal finances. Yet many people don’t know what their credit score is, or how to even check it.
We recommend using Credit Karma to check your credit score, monitor changes in your credit, and identify ways to improve your credit. The best part of all is that it’s completely free to check your credit, and doesn’t hurt your credit score one bit.
Self is another tool that comes highly recommended for those that need to build credit. Self is a new solution that can help you build credit and payment history while saving money at the same time. Self does this with Credit Builder Accounts as an early alternative to a secured credit card.
Making your finances a top priority
The above ten tips are proven ways that will help you form better habits, make better financial decisions, and keep you working towards your financial goals.
If you’re not sure where to begin, the best place to start is by having a plan. Get started right now by building your free financial plan in just 5 minutes. Savology’s free financial planning platform will help you better manage your finances and connect you with quality providers that will help you implement your plan and reach your goals.
This review is provided by and expresses the opinions of Savology to help users make informed financial decisions. Many of the featured products on this site connect to our affiliate partners. Partners may provide compensation to Savology for referrals, which in turn allows Savology to provide the free financial planning platform. Compensation does not influence the product evaluations or recommendations.
Your financial future starts today
Savology has helped more than 40,000 households across the United States improve their financial well-being by providing comprehensive digital financial planning. Users can get started with our free financial planning or premium monthly planning memberships, allowing them to build a personalized financial plan, holistic report card, personalized action items, and more. In addition to our consumer-facing platform, we’re helping employers across the country provide their employees with effective financial wellness benefits.