Thanks to advances in technology, there is a range of tools available today that can help manage your personal finances, balance your checkbook, figure out your budget, track your investments, and even help take the sting out of filing your income tax return. But even with the best apps, you still have to take the initiative to create a strategy that will meet your needs while reducing the stress that goes along with financial planning.

The following steps may help you organize your plan for managing your personal finances:

Review Annually. It’s important to review your financial situation and consult a qualified financial professional at least once a year to discuss appropriate strategies for your unique circumstances.

Pay Yourself First. Each month, transfer a set amount from earnings to savings or investments. Hypothetically, a monthly savings of $1,000, assuming an earnings rate of 5%, could grow to over $150,000 in just 10 years. (This example is for illustrative purposes only.)

Reduce Consumer Debt. Avoid high credit card finance charges by paying off balances monthly. If you must carry a balance, use cards offering low finance rates beyond the introductory period.

Take Advantage of Tax-Deferred Savings. If you qualify, contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), 401(k) plan, or other qualified plan that offers tax-deferred savings to help fund your retirement.

Bring Your Estate Plan Up-to-Date. Have your will and any trusts reviewed by a qualified insurance professional to determine the appropriate amount of life insurance coverage you may need. Review your estate plan with a qualified legal professional whenever major changes occur in your life.

Set Long-Term Financial Goals. Work within three time frames, setting one-year, three-year, and ten-year goals. Evaluate your progress each term and make adjustments, as appropriate, to achieve long-term success.

Make a commitment now to these financial strategies. While there may be no quick fix in financial planning, you can help to reduce the stress that often accompanies managing your personal finances and stay on track for your financial future. Ask your financial consultant how he or she can assist you in this process.

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The information and general descriptions contained in this article are designed to help you understand about the factors that you should generally consider when evaluating the appropriateness to your retirement plan of any strategy or investment. Any descriptions herein are solely for informational and educational purposes and for your independent consideration; they are not intended to be viewed or construed as advice or a suggestion for you to take (or refrain from taking) a particular course of action. In providing this information, we assume that you are capable of evaluating the information and general descriptions contained herein and exercising your independent judgment. This document was prepared for informational purposes only and should not be considered as an advice of any kind. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. Should legal, accounting, or tax advice be required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Brokerage products and services are provided by Popular Securities, LLC, a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA SIPC. Popular Securities, LLC is a subsidiary of Popular, Inc. and an affiliate of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. Popular Inc. and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico are not registered broker/dealers. Investment products are not insured by the FDIC; are not deposits or obligations of the bank; are not guaranteed by the bank or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates; and are subject to investment risks, and they may lose value. Insurance products are not insured by the FDIC or other government agencies, are not deposits or obligations, and are not guaranteed by the Bank or its subsidiaries or affiliates. Some insurance products may lose value.