To help you get started, this Investopedia article focuses on five financial improvements, suggesting some of Investopedia's best articles to jump-start your journey to financial literacy.
- Identify your starting point — If you don’t know where you are financially, it can be challenging to plan how to get to where you want to be next year, five years from now, or decades down the road in retirement.
- Set your priorities — Creating a list of needs and wants can help you set financial priorities.
- Document your spending — Most people could tell you how much money they make in a year. Fewer could state how much money they spend, and fewer still could explain how and where they spend it.
- Pay down your debt — As a rule, debt is not good, and what makes living with debt so costly is not just the interest and fees; it’s also the fact that it can prevent people from ever getting ahead with their financial goals.
- Secure your financial future — You can’t always control when you retire. You could lose the job that you’ve held for decades, suffer an illness or injury, or find you need to care for a loved one—any of which could lead to an unplanned retirement.