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It’s time to get started on your financial foundation.

A plan is essential for reaching any goal. It keeps you focused and can eventually lead to success. The same thing goes for a financial goal. If you want stability and security down the road, you need to have a strategy.

But when you’re just starting to think about your future, and retirement seems so far away, it can be hard to get started on a strategy.

That’s why Scarlet Oak Financial is here here. To help you figure out what you need to do to start setting goals and stay on track to reach them. Here’s some information to help you begin thinking about a plan.

The best way to start is by figuring out a budget so you can get in the habit of saving before spending. If you don’t follow a budget, you might be spending more than you realize, and saving less than you could be.

Begin by tracking your spending for a month. The easiest way to do this is by going about your life as usual. Keep track of the bills you pay and items you buy, from groceries to your daily coffee. At the end of the month, compare what you earned with what you spent.

Next, take a good look at what you spent your money on. Are there some things you can do without or ways to cut back? Some expenses are fixed, like food, housing and utilities, but some are just luxuries. Can you eliminate some of those? (Remember, though, you don’t need to cut out every unnecessary expense. A luxury-free budget is about as sensible as no budget at all, and completely depriving yourself of all treats could eventually send you on a serious budget-damaging spending spree!)

Set Financial Goals

Your budget will be easier to follow if you set financial goals. In the short-term, you may want to pay off credit card debt. Your long-term goals might include saving for the down payment on a home, your children’s college tuition or retirement.

Once you’ve identified your goals, give yourself a timeline. That will help you figure out how much of your budget to set aside each month.

Review your goals periodically so they’re always fresh in your mind. If you go off course, don’t get frustrated and give up; simply reassess and continue working toward your goals.

Invest Regularly, Even Small Amounts

Investing early in life is advantageous because your money has more time to compound and grow. But it’s never too late to start.

It’s important living here in Atlanta to find a Money Planner that can help you reach your financial goals. We are here to help you do just that. Contact us to schedule an appointment so we can start your money plan together.

Scarlet Oak Financial Services can be reached at 800.871.1219 or contact us here.  Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter with the latest economic news.