3 Personal Finance Tips Everyone Should Know

Managing money well is a skill — and often, we learn from our own mistakes and financial missteps. But there are a few tools that can help all of us avoid pitfalls when it comes to saving, investing, budgeting, and paying off debt.

Here’s the good news: you don’t need to inherit a large sum of money or get a big pay raise to enhance your personal finance strategy. These three simple tips will help you create a brighter financial future no matter how much you have in the bank today.

1. Stick to a Budget

This may seem like an obvious point, but while many people create budgets, fewer actually stay within their limits. To create an effective personal budget, keep your figures realistic and don’t overcomplicate things.

Work with an accurate picture of your finances as they are instead of creating a budget for how you’d like to spend your money differently in the future. Here’s how to build a budget you’ll actually stick to.

Calculate your monthly income and expenses.

Before you can create a budget, you need to know what you’re bringing in — and what’s going out. Gather an accurate picture of your finances, then look more closely to see what needs to be changed in order to help you meet your goals.

The great thing about budgets is that they’re designed to change along with you! For example, if you want to eliminate credit card debt, consider lowering your entertainment budget and dining out less until you reach that goal. Then, you can re-evaluate your budget again.

If you get a raise or change jobs, you can adjust your budget according to those new income figures.

Create a plan for debt payoff, saving, and investing.

Once you’ve calculated your monthly living expenses, you can designate a certain amount or percentage of your income to long-term financial goals like getting out of debt, saving a down payment for a new home, or contributing to your retirement.

Paying Off Debt

There are several ways to approach debt payoff. One method, known as the “debt snowball,” allows you to pay off your smallest debt first, eliminating one payment and helping you “roll” more money into the next largest debt until they’re all paid off.

In the “debt avalanche” approach, you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Some people also find it helpful to consolidate debt by acquiring a personal loan with a lower interest rate and using it to pay off higher interest balances.


As you consider your savings goals, gather them into four buckets. First, consider building an emergency fund (typically a few months’ worth of income) to secure your ability to pay your bills if unexpected circumstances arise.

Next, consider your retirement plan. If your company has set up a retirement plan for you, find out if they offer matching contributions and determine how much you want to deposit. If you don’t have a plan through your job, open one on your own — it’s never too early!

Lastly, set short and long-term saving goals for things like family vacations, buying a home or car, or contributing to your child’s college education.


Regardless of the amount you have available in your budget for investing, talk to an investment advisor about how you can put that money to work for you. Even small investments have the potential to add up over time.

2. Schedule Regular Finance Check-Ins

To keep your personal finances healthy, ditch the “set it and forget it” mindset. Your financial picture is ever-evolving, so make sure to check in regularly. Creating a financial calendar will help you keep track of deadlines and goals! Here are some important things to include:

Quarterly tax deadlines

If you pay taxes quarterly, mark each due date on your financial calendar to stay on top of payments and avoid potential fees or penalties.

Credit reports

It’s a good idea to check your credit reports from the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) at least once a year. To keep a closer watch on your credit, some advisors suggest checking your credit every four months, alternating bureaus to avoid paying for reports.

Interest rates

There are several aspects of your finances that benefit from yearly checks. At least once a year, check interest rates to see if refinancing your mortgage could benefit you. Refinancing is not always the best option, but it’s worth a look.

You should also meet with your financial advisor annually. They can help you with the tasks above, along with providing a snapshot of your financial situation and offering advice on how to build wealth.

3. Set Money Goals

All of us have financial goals. In order to meet them, it’s important to attach numbers and dates to those dreams. By creating a tangible goal, you can calculate a plan to reach it. Whether you’re calculating when you’ll be ready to retire or saving up for your first home or a milestone vacation, creating a plan will help you make progress.

If you have trouble saving for your goals, consider separating your savings from your everyday spending in a more meaningful way. If your savings and checking account are at the same bank, you might find it too easy to transfer money away from your savings goals. Consider opening a high-yield savings account through another institution, and automate your deposits into that account.

Creating a Brighter Financial Future

No matter what your financial situation is today, you can forge a path toward building wealth and creating financial freedom. At Marietta Wealth, our financial planners are personal finance experts who have your best interests in mind.

As a fee-only fiduciary, our team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals and pursue your dreams, whatever they may be. Reach out to us today to schedule your first meeting.