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Financial Planning Tips to Help Secure Your Future

Financial Planning Tips to Help Secure Your Future Blog
Free Tools For Understanding Finances Affinity FCU Blog
By: Kevin Brauer
President & Chief Executive Officer

Date: March 2, 2023

When it comes to planning for your future, financial security is one of the most important factors. Securing your future involves more than just taking steps to protect yourself from financial hardship. It also requires long-term strategic planning that focuses on creating a sound foundation of financial wellbeing and stability.

In times of economic uncertainty, it can be difficult to plan for the future and make decisions with confidence. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to help ensure a secure financial future in any economic climate. Here are five tips to help you start creating a strong foundation for secure financial stability in the years ahead.

  1. Have a plan: Having a clear and detailed financial plan is the first step in building your future security. This should include setting goals, budgeting, tracking expenses and income, investments, debt repayment strategies and more. Setting short-, medium-, and long-term financial goals will help you decide what kind of plan works best for you. A good plan will help you stay focused on achieving your objectives over time.

  2.  Be mindful of spending: Setting limits for yourself will go a long way to helping you keep within the budget that you have created for yourself in your financial plan. Try not to be tempted by impulsive purchases or splurges as they can quickly derail any savings plans that you've made; maintain control of your finances by being mindful when it comes to spending habits! A great example on how to be mindful with your spending is to track and manage online subscriptions. It can become very easy to “set and forget” your online subscriptions for streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Be sure to stay on top of subscriptions or monthly expenses that can easily be cut out to save money.

  3. Prioritize saving: Make sure that saving is one of your top priorities when it comes to creating a sound financial footing for the future. To get started, establish an emergency fund so that there are resources available if unexpected costs arise, then consider investing where appropriate in order to benefit from compound interest over time. It is also good to take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan, if available to you. Saving money during this current inflationary environment may seem challenging, but Affinity has a great resource to help you get started. The SmartStart savings account[1] gives members a 4.00% annual percentage yield (“APY”) on the first $10,000 in savings with zero initial deposit or account balance requirements. The SmartStart savings account is a great savings tool to take advantage of when planning for the future.

  4. Reduce debt: In the fourth quarter of 2022, Americans’ credit card balances[2] increased by $61 billion to reach $986 billion. With consumers continuing to leverage credit cards in order to keep up with higher costs in the current inflationary environment, debt levels continue to rise. Taking on debt oftentimes can be unavoidable, but it’s crucial to remain organized. Be sure to track and manage all of your debts and make payments on time. When determining what debt should be paid off first, a good first step is to pay down loans with the highest interest rates, like credit or store cards. Try paying off small debts before tackling larger ones but always strive towards reducing overall levels of personal debt wherever possible. Reducing debt is not one size fits all, if you are unsure where to start, seek out the help of a financial professional.
  5. Get professional advice if needed: Financial planning can be complex so don't hesitate to seek expert advice if necessary. Affinity is a great resource for those looking for guidance when it comes to financial planning[3]. Affinity offers valuable insight on how to manage money more effectively, including tips on budgeting, debt management and saving for retirement. Services also include access to resources like online banking tools and calculators that will help you make informed decisions about your financial future. 

Financial planning is an important part of securing your future and achieving financial wellbeing. Whether you're saving up for a specific goal or just spending smarter, there are plenty of ways to get started with the right plan. Taking a long-term strategic approach to your finances can help you maximize all parts of your financial life and make sure that you have enough money saved up for whatever comes ahead. Reach out to a professional at Affinity[4] to help get started on securing your finances for the future.

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments.