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You undoubtedly had a plan for your college education and your next step is to make a plan for your financial situation and how to improve it. Studies have shown that just making a plan will actually reduce your stress about money. It doesn't have to be lengthy, elaborate, or complex either. For example, you could start with the basic building blocks such as creating a spending plan. There are literally countless budgeting tools available free online as well as numerous apps. One of the best of these is Mint.com. Once you sign up with this free tool you will have a smart phone app that will automatically track your spending and help you develop a budget. It will even suggest a few for you. In addition, you can connect your credit cards, savings accounts and any investment accounts to Mint and it will then show you a complete picture of your finances all in one place. Just as important, you can use Mint to check your credit and get tips for improving it.
If you decide that your first, best step would be to create a budget there are some great, free smart phone apps such as PocketGuard and GoodBudget. Probably the second most popular budgeting tool is You Need A Budget, which you can use free for 34 days and then after that $50 for a year or five dollars a month to use it on your computer.
Don't forgo professional help
If you had a serious medical problem like appendicitis or colitis you wouldn't try to treat it yourself. You probably wouldn’t try to fix an automobile problem such as a broken transmission without professional help. And if you were hauled into court over a serious automobile accident it’s unlikely you would try to represent yourself. If you're suffering from an unhealthy financial situation it can permeate every facet of your life in both the near and far term. Whether you’ve stopped to think about this or not being in a poor financial situation can impact your relationships and your ability to have a quality life. When this is the case finding the right professional that can provide the help you need can have a huge and beneficial impact on your life and on those of your loved ones. Whether your basic problem has to do with debt consolidation, improving or managing your credit, doing a better job of investing your money or any other financial issue the right financial advisor can help you overcome it and have a better, less stressful life.
There's just no excuse for financial illiteracy
If you didn’t learn the basics of personal finance while in high school or college that's no excuse for remaining financially illiterate. If you accept personal responsibility for your finances and use the lessons you've learned in this article you should be able to look forward to a very bright financial future.