Some people are great at managing their money wisely, while others need a helping hand. Scott Crockett of Everest Business Funding says that many people need help understanding the basics of budgeting, saving, planning for retirement, and investing.
If you find yourself in this position, don't worry. You can take a couple of easy steps to get your money under control and maximize it in the process. Below is a full explanation of personal finance, why it's important, and how anyone can improve their situation.
Start a Budget and Set Goals
All personal finance starts with a basic budget, including all monthly income and expenses. By setting up a basic budget, you'll be able to see your cash flow availability on a monthly basis, which can help you identify shortages and potential issues.
As part of the budgeting process, you'll be able to set clear financial goals. If you have a limited amount of free money at the end of the month, a goal might be to reduce your expenses to create more free cash flow. You can also work on savings goals -- either short-term for specific purchases or long-term for things such as retirement or helping your kids pay for school.
Manage Your Debt
One of the biggest keys to financial freedom is managing your debt properly. It's very easy to continue to open credit cards to stretch out your expenses. In the end, though, doing so can saddle you with crushing debt and high-interest payments.
While you should always do your best to reduce your debt, it's also important to understand that not all debt is bad. For instance, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a reasonable interest rate wouldn't be considered bad debt -- unless you overextended yourself and purchased a home out of your means.
Set Aside Emergency Funds
Everyone needs an emergency fund -- a separate account where money is stored and can be accessed in case an immediate need arises. This fund could be used for unexpected medical expenses or emergency home repairs.
It's important that this fund is kept separate from other savings and is liquid -- i.e., it can be accessed quickly and easily. Most financial experts will suggest building up an emergency fund equal to three to six months of your monthly expenses.
Protect and Plan
Scott Crockett suggests that all personal finances should include proper insurance and a retirement plan. Many people integrate retirement savings into their monthly budget but need to consider whether they're properly insured.
A good life insurance plan can serve as an integral part of future planning not just for you but for your family as well. It can help ensure that your family doesn't suffer financially if you unexpectedly pass away.
There are many different life insurance plans, so speak with an experienced professional about the options and which would work for you.
By understanding personal finance in this way and coming up with a well-thought-out plan, anyone can improve their situation and achieve financial freedom.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Mr. Crockett's track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.