Charting Your Financial Future
The Dollar Stretcher.com 'Get Out of Debt' Course
Do You Have a Debt Problem?
How Long Will It Take to Solve the Debt Problem?
Deciding to Solve a Debt Problem
Your Auto Loans
Your Credit Cards
Restoring Your Credit
Getting out of debt is just the first step to financial freedom. Next you'll want to save an emergency fund and begin planning for your long-range goals.
An emergency fund is the cornerstone of your finances. Everyone has an occasional financial emergency. An unexpected auto or home repair, medical bill or loss of income. There's a good chance that it was the lack of an emergency fund that caused you to have the debt problem you just solved.
Here are a couple of articles to help you with an emergency fund:
You'll need a place to keep your emergency fund. You have a number of options. You can put it in a local or online bank, put it on a debit card or hide it in your mattress. You can use this tool to find the best rates for your savings.
Then compare debit cards to see if you're getting the best deal.
Financial freedom is much more than being out of debt and having an emergency fund. You'll also want to take control of your finances and create some long range goals.
We'll assume that you've already created a budget. If not we recommend Simpleplanning.com.
The next step is to create a financial plan. You may choose to use a financial planner. We encourage you to use a "fee only" planner. That's someone who doesn't earn commissions from selling you investments or trades in your account. One commonly accepted accreditation is "Certified Financial Planner®". Most planners will charge about 1% of the money they help you manage annually. Some (but not all) planners will want you to have a minimum net worth to work with you. Most will offer a free introductory meeting. You can find a Certified Financial Planner® here.
You may prefer to do it yourself or feel that you don't have enough money to justify hiring a financial planner. If that's the case you might want to use some of the online tools available.
Share your thoughts with the editor.