Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist
When it comes to saving and planning for disability-related expenses, financial literacy is an integral part of the journey. By choosing to invest with Enable Alabama, Account Owners have already proven that they’re financially savvy.
In honor of April’s Financial Literacy Month, we drew up a plan of action to help Account Owners navigate their finances with even greater confidence.
Make your Budget
Every financial plan should begin with a comprehensive budget. Accounting for your income and expenses, and keeping track of them in one place, will give you a valuable understanding of your ongoing financial situation. Whether you’re new to budgeting, or your budget could use some freshening up, this is a key starting point to more effectively navigating your finances.
A budget also provides peace of mind, as having everything in one place can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or swamped with expenses. Instead, you can use your budget to identify, organize and allocate appropriately – and then rest easy knowing that you have a plan in place to cover what you need.
Even better, when you track your expenses on a regular basis you can identify when there are funds to spare. This is a great opportunity to contribute a little extra to your Enable Alabama Account! For a step-by-step guide to setting up your budget, try out NerdWallet’s tips in Budgeting 101: How to Create a Budget
Define your Savings Plan
At Enable Alabama, we take savings seriously—it’s why we’ve made it our mission to support individuals and families as they save for disability-related expenses. Once you’ve developed your budget, you can look ahead to this key aspect of your finances.
When crafting a savings plan, define your priorities and goals. Determine your goal amount and create a timeline to help calculate how much savings you’ll need for each goal. With the right planning and forethought, you can balance priorities and avoid making sacrifices.
A great tactic to help you stick to your savings goals over time is to automate contributions. With Enable Alabama, Account Owners can set up an Automatic Investment Plan (AIP), and preschedule contributions to be deposited into an account on a recurring basis. An AIP can be set up by anyone—not just the Account Owner—and funds can be transferred from a personal bank account or through payroll direct deposit, providing Account Owners and loved ones with a reliable and flexible way to save.
Financial literacy means understanding the basics; however, it also means staying informed of broader changes in the financial and legislative environments. Just this past year, for example, tax reform has had widespread implications not only for individual tax returns and deductions but also for ABLE accounts (read our breakdown here). Keeping up to date on the changes and developments shaping your world is one of the smartest moves you can make for your finances.
Luckily, there are many useful print and online resources available to help you stay informed, and you’ve found one of our favorites – the Enable Alabama blog. Enable Alabama is committed to keeping Account Owners informed of all changes and improvements that may impact your account. Checking in on the blog, and liking and following us on Facebook, will ensure that you stay up to date on all things Enable Alabama.
Family and friends are also excellent resources to help you stay informed. Discussing current events and how they may impact your finances can help you stay ahead of the curve, and often benefits your loved ones as much as yourself. Financial literacy can be a group effort, and practicing transparency and communication is another important financial skill.
At Enable Alabama we work hard to make saving for disability-related expenses accessible and effective, and we know that with the right tools, financial literacy can be achievable also. If you have any questions about your Enable Alabama account, contact us at 1-866-833-7949 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.