Road to the Financial Four!

march madness, bracket, financial four, final four, sophisticated spender

Hello Sophisticated Spenders!

We have (un)officially reached the end of March Madness.

Filling out this financial bracket was fun.  Shout out to the National Endowment for Financial Education.  They created this cool bracket.

This year’s bracket was divided into 4 groups:

Growing Your Money

Protecting What You Have

Learning & Talking About Your Money

Spending Wisely

Here are my top picks.

Emergency Fund” An emergency fund is important for a million reasons, the government may shut down (again), cars break down, appliances break, injuries happen.  NEVER underestimate the importance of having some cash stashed away so that you aren’t stuck or panicked (or have to ask your friends to borrow money, or have to take out a payday loan) when an emergency happens.

“Use Employer Savings” I fully take advantage of the free money and tax savings programs that are available to me.  Most companies will match your contributions to your 401k (retirement).  There are transit and parking subsidies and Health Savings Accounts.  Get to know your Human Resources department and find out what’s offered!

“Review Credit Report” Don’t ignore your credit report-especially if you think your credit is bad.  You have to check your credit report and make sure there’s no fraud or any errors.  And when you are rebuilding your credit, you will get excited when you start to see your credit score increase!

Check out “Don’t Let Your Credit Score Ruin Your Life

“Rein In Debt”  You never know when emergencies will pop up.  So try to pay off debt early-especially credit card debt!

“Live Within Means”  I try to keep my expenses lower than 1 paycheck so I’m not living paycheck to paycheck.  I only upgrade items when I can pay for them in cash or I have a solid plan for paying them off!

“Use Credit Responsibly”  I always say, “Use your credit for good!”  Credit is a brilliant tool.  The rewards points (and dollars) make it even better.  I pay for everything with 1 credit card and I pay that sucker off in full every single month.  And I receive hundreds of dollars in rewards just for using my credit for good (and living within my means).

Now I’d like to hear from you!  What were the most important financial priorities on this list?  Please share why or why not!  I’d love to hear what’s important to my readers!

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