10 Basic Questions You Need To Answer To Check Your Financial Status
Having a little or a lot of money, should not limit us on trying to help improve our financial status. It is always a good thing to improve our finances. It is not about making life altering decisions but more of being wiser on how we manage our resources and sticking to our financial plans once we made them. What’s important is to start taking those small steps as early as we can towards greater overall financial health and later on to achieving financial freedom.
As we get near the end of the year, this is the time that many of us think about changing our financial position for the better. If we’re not ready for a big resolution, we can make just as much progress by making several small decisions that are focused on improving our finances.
Answer these 10 critical questions as honest as you can to know your financial status.
1. Is your emergency fund sufficient? Experts recommend at least three to six months’ living expenses for a secure financial safety net.
2. If your emergency fund is sufficient, other than saving for retirement or your children’s education, are you done saving? The answer is NO. Your savings account should stretch to cover periodic but not unexpected expenses such as routine car maintenance, birthday celebrations and gifts, and vacations. These are not emergencies because you know that these will always occur at some point.
3. If you have children, how will you help fund their education? Start saving for your children’s future, ONLY if you have covered your own first- so better get that retirement account started today. Then decide how much you can help them or through other means, like allowing them to stay at home while they pay their way through school themselves.
4. What would happen if you were to lose your job? Preparing for the worst would help you and the family adjust to challenging situations like these. Know what’s essential and what’s not when planning ahead.
5. Have you planned for any unexpected changes in living expenses? Big dreams or life goals like buying a house or moving to another city or province entails longer time to save.
6. What’s the most reliable way to pay off debt? Make the minimum payment on small debts and maximum on the largest bill. This way you can manage the interest rates and fees better.
7. What can I do to improve my credit rating? The most important thing to do is to pay all your bills on time every single time for days after weeks after months after years. A credit rating is a long range game; consistency is the key.
8. How much of my income should go towards housing? There is an old 30 percent rule of thumb when it comes to housing costs, but there are times the percentage of mortgage is higher. Review the mortgage documents in detail to make sure the loan is right for you.
9. How will you manage finances between you and your spouse or partner? There is no one size fits all strategy for this, it’s good to base it more on the personalities and spending style of you and your partner.
10. Should you be saving for retirement if you have credit card bills? Saving for retirement is a matter of time, so while you are paying off your bills, you should start saving even a very very small amount.
I hope that your answers to these questions have provided a clearer picture of where you are at now financially and where you can improve on in the future.
Check out my other posts on Money Matters to learn more.