20 Steps to Financial Health: Achieving Lifelong Financial Fitness
10. Determine your net worth
Determining net worth can help you measure your progress over time. The more you can save, the greater your net worth will be. Net worth is determined by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. Liabilities include major expenses and debt.
Periodically evaluating your net worth can also help you in making financial decisions.
11. Pay down debt
There are two schools of thinking when it comes to tackling debt. One method is to concentrate on paying off the debt with the smallest balance first (never forget to make required payments to all debts, of course). After that balance is repaid, you can then apply that payment to the card with the next smallest balance and continue the process until all debts are satisfied. This method can be very rewarding because you see progress quickly.
The other popular method is to first concentrate on repaying the debt with the highest interest rate. This method will save you the most in interest charges over time. Regardless of the method you choose, be patient and persistent. You can calculate your monthly payoff amount and date of completion using ACCC’s debt payoff calculator here:
12. Eliminate unnecessary credit cards
The truth is there is no “correct” amount of credit cards to own and use. When determining the impact on credit there is no one size fits all type of answer. The credit scoring model looks at the number of credit cards you have, but always in comparison with other information on your credit report. The best number of credit cards depends on your ability to manage your debt and credit card payments.
You can tell if you have too much credit by looking at and analyzing the following:
a. Debt to income ratio
b. Do you have difficulty managing credit cards?
c. Is your credit utilization too high?
d. Do you have too many cards?
e. Is your mix of credit healthy?
For help finding answers to these questions, use ACCC’s Personal Financial Workbook found here: