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Follow these steps to achieve financial wellness

Don't be overwhelmed with negative thoughts about finances. Here are some real steps and healthy habits to chip away at debt and build your savings.

Person looking at financial records on a tablet device

Control debt

Know what you owe and make a plan to control debt by trying these tips:

  • Pay off credit cards with high interest rates first — then stop using them.
  • Pay as much as you can on your smallest debts and pay at least the minimum on large ones — even modest accomplishments can be great motivation.
  • If you buy a home, it should cost no more than 2 to 2.5 times your household income, and your mortgage should be no more than 80% of the home's value.

Learn more about debt management with these tips.

Spend smart

Live within your means:

  • Write down every expense for a month to see where your money is going. You may be able to identify extra money to apply to savings.
  • Decide proactively where your money should go by making a realistic budget and sticking to it.
  • If you have two incomes, experiment with covering all your expenses with one income and use the other for savings.
  • Before buying something, ask yourself if you really, really need it. Maybe wait a few weeks to decide.

This income and expenses worksheet from the FDIC can help you review your finances.

Increase Savings

Saving for retirement, children's education, emergencies or other expenses can give you peace of mind:

  • Give savings the same importance as paying bills, and save something from each paycheck.
  • See if your company has an automatic savings program. Contribute at least enough to qualify for matching funds, if offered.
  • Many experts suggest putting at least 10% of your income into savings — and some recommend as much as 25%. Sound too hard? Start with one percent of your paycheck and increase as your salary grows.
  • Save enough in an emergency fund to cover at least three months' worth of expenses — six to nine is even better. If you ever use it, rebuild it fast.

Need a few more pointers? Visit AmericaSaves.org for a list of 54 ways to save money.

Not sure where to start? We can help show you how to start a budget.

Get more tips for building financial wellness with MyMoney Five from MyMoney.gov. And learn how to build an emergency fund with tips from State Farm®.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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