You would never run a marathon without building up the strength, endurance and mental stamina needed to cross the finish line. Reaching fitness goals requires training and dedication, and the same is true for financial fitness. If you have financial goals, you’re much more likely to reach them if you acquire and practice the fundamentals of financial fitness.
Set a training plan with a sound budget. Creating a budget is an important step because it helps you understand where your money comes from and how you spend it. Once you understand your finances, you can make choices that help you reach your goals.
Fitness tip: Tackle one adjustment at a time. If you’re trying to save money, begin by looking for ways to cut spending that you won’t notice — like canceling unused subscriptions. Once you gain a little momentum, try setting up direct deposit from your paycheck to a savings account at United Community Bank.
Build strength by improving your credit score. A strong credit score is important to overall financial health. Your credit score is a number based on your credit history. The score is tabulated by three major credit bureaus — Experian®, TransUnion® and Equifax® — and based on aspects of your financial history like paying bills on time, how much money you owe and how many credit cards you have. A good credit score gives you more power to finance major purchases like a car or a home.
Fitness tip: You can view your credit report free of charge every year from each of the three credit bureaus. Check your credit report for discrepancies and look for ways to improve your score.
Increase endurance by paying down your debt. Sometimes borrowing money is necessary, but debt, especially if it’s held on a high interest credit card, can keep you from going the distance.
Fitness tip: One strategy to pay down debt, called debt consolidation, is to transfer the balance from one or more high interest credit cards to a lower interest personal loan.
Improve your flexibility with an emergency savings account. An emergency savings account gives you the flexibility to clear unexpected financial hurdles. Experts recommend you save enough money to cover your basic living expenses for three months.
Fitness tip: Consider the recommended amount a guideline, but any amount of savings is better than nothing. Start building slowly and work toward a goal that you are comfortable with.
Protect yourself with adequate insurance. Insurance is an important element of financial health because it protects your money and assets when unexpected things happen. A health crisis, auto accident, fire or natural disaster can threaten your savings or create challenging debt. While you hope that none of these things ever happen, insurance provides you with the peace of mind that if they do, your finances are protected.
Fitness tip: Insurance products can be complex, and finding the right balance of monthly premiums, deductible and coverage varies depending on your financial situation and needs. Talk to an insurance expert at myLifeApp1 by calling 855-973-4411 to see what insurance you need to protect your family and finances today.
When working on your financial fitness goals, remember you have many resources to help you at United Community Bank. Explore other articles in our learning center to learn more.
1All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. United Community Bank and United Community Advisory Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using United Community Advisory Services, and may also be employees of United Community Bank. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, United Community Bank or United Community Advisory Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
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