Financial Freedom for Your Family

If you’re like a long of folks right now, you’re facing some pretty significant financial issues. You might be looking at a lost job, a lost house, and probably have had to eat up pretty much all of your retirement savings, too. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get to a place of financial freedom, even in the face of bad history credit card challenges..

Tough financial times can have long-term effects, even after those tough times are through. It can take years or even decades to get back to the place you were, financially, before the tough times hit.

Here are five things you can do to start rebuilding your life after a time of financial loss:

  1. Start an emergency fund. Now, ideally you’ll have three months’ worth of income saved up in the bank. That’s pretty hard to conceive of, especially when you’ve been living from one paycheck to the next. But, you need to start small.

Begin by saving just a few hundred dollars for emergencies such as a broken furnace or the deductible from a car wreck. Even a $500 padding can help you feel less anxious about money and get you started on that emergency fund.

  1. Improve your credit card score. Over the past several years, credit card companies are doing less to encourage people to apply for a bad credit history credit card and more to line their pockets, such as increasing rates or lowering limits.

Pay down your debt and pay your bills on time if you want to improve your credit score. Your goal should be to get that score up to 740 or above. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen.

  1. Don’t add new debt. Don’t add a bunch of easy-to-get credit cards (and the ensuing debt). That doesn’t mean you can’t get a new card, but it does mean you need to keep from adding another balance.

Don’t take out a home equity loan. Don’t even purchase something via layaway, if you can help it. Treat your finances as if they’re going on a diet.

  1. Pay for retirement now. Set aside something. Even a little bit. Just $100 a month now can have a big payoff down the road, especially if you’re younger and earlier in your career.

If your employer matches retirement contributions, make sure you contribute at least that much. If you don’t have a retirement plan or are self-employed, look into a Roth IRA.

  1. Make more money. It’s easier said than done, of course, but it might mean taking on a second job, or starting a small in-home business on the side. Find a way to increase your income, and then take that income and use it to reduce debt, save for emergencies and fund your retirement.

Financial freedom is within your reach, even in the face of bad history credit card challenges. Be smart about how you spend, how you save, and how you borrow. Today’s troubles are temporary, and hard work will eventually pay off.

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