Get on path to financial wellness with this essential checklist

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Tax day is just around the corner, and April is National Financial Literacy Month. Mike Sullivan is from Take Charge America, a nonprofit credit counseling service, and he shared some tips and tricks to get on the path to financial wellness.

Sullivan made a financial checklist that includes all of the things we need for financial confidence and knowledge:

1. Emergency Savings: A savings account with enough cash for an emergency is essential. Without enough cash for a flat tire or water heater, consumers are forced to use credit, which leads to debt issues.

2. Budgeting: Without a plan for spending, people spend on the wrong things and eventually overspend, leading to debt. If it isn't written down, it won't be remembered.

3. 700+ Credit Score: A high credit score is a sign of financial strength and good credit. It means bills are paid on time and credit is used responsibly. That means better terms on all credit and insurance, and a lower cost of living.

4. Automatic Retirement Savings: Retirement is inevitable, and the best way to save is to make it automatic so people aren't tempted to use retirement funds for other purposes.

5. Unsecured Debt: Unsecured debt payments should take up less than 10% of your income. These debt payments consist of more than the debt - you need to include interest and fees too. Unsecured debt represents spending that does not increase net worth, so it must be strictly controlled or consumers will have nothing left for "good" expenditures.

For more tips or information, visit www.takechargeamerica.org.

Take Charge America
(888) 822-9193
www.takechargeamerica.org