If you ever applied for a loan or a credit card, you know that banks place a lot of importance on your credit score. While your credit score is a pretty good indicator of overall financial health, it’s not the only one. Here are five other signs that you’re on solid financial footing:
You always have money in the bank
No matter what your income is, if you can always keep a reasonable amount of money in the bank, that can be a good sign. This likely shows that you can manage your finances and don’t spend more than you can afford.
In addition to having money in checking, having an emergency fund stashed in your savings account is a great indicator of financial health. Even if you’re just starting to build one, it’s a sign that you’re planning for the future.
You pay your bills on time
One of the key indicators of financial health is paying your bills on time. If you’re on top of your fixed expenses—everything from utilities to rent to student loans or credit cards—that signals that you have a handle on your finances. It shows that you’re responsible with your money and able to anticipate future costs. In addition, paying your bills on time can help you avoid late fees, which can add up quickly.
You have a budget
Budgeting may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a key part of good financial health. If you have a budget and try to keep to it, that shows you’re aware of your spending and are intentional about how you use your money. Even if you don’t stick to it 100% of the time, having a budget is a good sign that you’re trying to be mindful of your finances.
You’re contributing to your retirement accounts
If you’re contributing to a retirement account and saving for the future, whatever the amount, that’s a start. Being able to make that contribution in the first place is a good sign of financial health. It shows that you’re thinking about the future and what your finances will look like in retirement.
If you’re further along in saving for retirement, it may be time to take a look at your financial planning and make sure you’re on track to meet your goals. An advisor can help you plan for retirement and provide a detailed picture of how you’re doing.
You have a financial goal in mind
Beyond paying your bills on time and being aware of your finances, it can be helpful to also have a goal in mind. Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a house, taking a dream vacation, or simply getting out of debt, having a financial goal shows that you’re proactive about your money. Working toward a goal can also be very motivating and help you take your saving to the next level.
Your financial journey
If you can check off most or all the items on this list, that’s a sign that you’re likely in good shape financially. However, if there are one or two areas where you could use some improvement, don’t worry—there are plenty of ways get your finances on track. The important thing is to keep an eye on your overall financial picture and make decisions with your money that are right for you.