Leap past financial wellness hurdles

Whether you’re 20 or 60 — or anywhere in between — you need to be thinking about your long-term financial wellness. Don’t let four common obstacles stand between you and your future.

Try these strategies to help you take control of your money now — so you can move toward your financial goals, without anything blocking your way.

“I’m strapped for cash.”
Your living expenses will always be there, so it’s important to find a way to fit retirement contributions into your budget. Scale back spending. Trim your phone plan, swap cable for an online streaming service, or dine out less. Then increase your retirement savings rate with the money you free up.

“I’ll save later, when I’m earning more.”
The longer you wait, the less “later” there will be. Plus, the snowball effect of compounding works best when given plenty of time. Don’t throw time away. Someone who starts investing for retirement at age 25 can amass hundreds of thousands more than someone who starts at age 35 — even if they contribute the same amount each month.

“I have too much debt.”
Car loan, mortgage, student loans, credit cards…most of us have debt. Don’t let it stop you from saving. Strike a balance. Set up automatic deposits to your debt and retirement accounts. Then, focus on lowering the interest rates on your debt and paying more than the minimum payment whenever possible.

“I don’t know where my money goes.”
Try a money-tracking app, such as Personal Capital. Top-rated by Kiplinger, CNN, and Forbes, Personal Capital gives you a 360° view of your financial life so you can better manage your money and get closer to your goals. Use it to set and follow a budget, monitor credit card balances, and see income and spending by category. Download it for free on most mobile devices. Or search your app store for other money management apps — there are many to choose from!

Sources: The Motley Fool (fool.com); www.cibc.com