BBB Offers Top Tips to Get Your Finances in Order

April 10, 2012 Updated Apr 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM EDT

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BBB Offers Top Tips to Get Your Finances in Order

April 10, 2012 Updated Apr 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM EDT

(BBB news release) April is National Financial Literacy Month, so it’s a good time to reassess your savings and spending patterns to build a brighter future for yourself and your family.

BBB recommends the following:

Start calculating now. You are never too young to start planning for retirement. While individuals increasingly have to take responsibility for their financial security after retirement, the majority of Americans appear not to have done any retirement planning. Decisions about how much to save in order to afford a comfortable retirement require collecting information about several important variables (including Social Security and retirement plan benefits) and doing some, even rudimentary, calculations.

Budget appropriately when it comes time to pay for a child’s education. It is widely reported that, over the past decade, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities have increased more rapidly than they did during the 1980s or 1990s, rising by an average of nearly 5 percent each year (adjusted for inflation). With this trend unlikely to abate, an average American family with children can expect to dedicate a sizable share of their resources to paying college tuition.

Manage your debt. One of the best ways to ensure a brighter financial future is to manage and eliminate costly debt. BBB offers “Managing Credit – Made Simpler,” an online learning tool for consumers and small business owners.

Avoid “get rich quick” schemes. BBB exposes scams and frauds every day. Sadly, many of these are aimed at investors who have done the right thing so far and saved some money, but make a mistake when it comes to investing. BBB recently partnered with the FINRA Financial Education Foundation to promote smart investing and to help consumers avoid investment scams.