Managing Money

Set Financial Goals
After you have compared your income and expenses, your next step in the process of being financially secure, is to set financial goals. If you decide to set your goals make sure they are realistic and achievable.

Examples of realistic goals could be:

  • Paying off a $5,000 credit card balance over a 2 year period.

An unrealistic goal could be:

  • Paying off a $150,000 loan in 12 months bearing in mind that you have an income of $50,000 annually.

Manage your Credit Card Debt
Eliminating your credit card debt is a great goal. Even though financial goals are important, take into account that the most important goal of all is to get out of debt. This has to be your number one concern. If you have credit card debt, it will be charging the highest interest rate so this must be eliminated first.

If you can only pay the minimum amount offered (the minimum amount due is notified monthly) then it may take you years to pay off the credit card balance because of the ongoing high interest rate on the amount overdue.

If you make payments that are greater than the minimum amount asked, this will effectively lower the time frame involved and reduce the interest rates. The important point is that having credit card debt is not good because of the heavy costs. It should be the number one debt that is cleaned up.

Keep in Touch with your Finances
If you are looking at investing, make sure you keep in touch with where your money goes. It is possible you have turned your money over to people who are less than honest. It is also possible that the company you invest with may find themselves out of their depth and honest intentions will not prevent them from running into financial trouble. If that happens, your investment is at risk.

There is also the possibility that a promoter, finding himself in financial strife can take flight and leave the country with your money as well as other investors' money. It is important to continually keep in touch with your investments and to be alert for any changes or occurrences that may tell you your investment is in trouble.

Sometimes after making an investment, it is hard to contact the person who originally completed the deal. They are either unwilling to return your calls or they are tied up on the phone or busy with clients. These are tell-tale signs that something is not right. Any suspicion like this should stir you to make enquiries immediately and do not take no for an answer. If necessary, get a professional involved because you need to protect your investment. The earlier you do something the better.

If you and your advisers feel that there has been fraud, dishonesty or even a professional scam going on it time to report it to the necessary authorities.