This week, we’re partnering with ABC’s “Good Morning America” to quiz you on big feats in college football — and we also want to know if you have what it takes to succeed on the field of personal finance.
Everyone knows that while some players are clearly Heisman material, winning takes the entire team. The same rule applies to your finances. Your CD may perform like Geno Smith, but if your checking account comes with too many fees, or your retirement plan needs refocusing, you’re never going to reach your end zone.
Here are four things every saver should consider if they want to win at the game of personal finance.
A Checking Account That Always Scores
If you think all checking accounts come with steep fees and low interest rates, think again. Many banks, including Ally Bank, offer checking accounts that come with competitive interest rates and no monthly maintenance fees.
Moving your money to an interest-bearing checking account with no fees helps you make the most of every penny you earn. Some accounts even have checking-rewards programs.
Play Defense With Strong Savings Products
Whether you lose your job or need to replace your refrigerator, life has a way of tackling you with money matters when you least expect them. Relying on credit to get you though these rough patches only delays the pain of paying (often with interest), so you should have a solid emergency fund, with nine to 12 months’ income, according to Yahoo.
A money market or online savings account generally gives you the most access to your funds. And of course, you can also use these accounts to save for more predictable expenses, like upcoming vacations, and your child’s education.
A Retirement Plan as a Team Player
A team can have the best quarterback in the NCAA, but it can’t score without a wide receiver to catch those passes. That’s why it’s important to have a retirement plan that always makes good plays with your money.
Be sure to take advantage of your employer-offered 401(k) plan, especially if they offer matching contributions, says Forbes. Also, consider IRAs — or even CDs — to help you ensure you’ll have the retirement of your dreams.
A Coach for Your Financial Playbook
You may think you’re the coach of your finances, but in reality you’re probably more like the manager. You may need a coach of your own — a trusted financial planner to turn to for advice on your money.
Most financial planners can help you with a wide range of initiatives, but some specialize in specific areas, like retirement or caring for a special-needs child, says USA Today. You can find an authorized financial planner in your area by visiting the Certified Financial Planner Board website.
Who are the players on your financial team? How does Ally Bank help you make the most of your money?