Reading time: 2 minutesKey financial market trends to watch for the rest of 2017.

Ideally, improving personal finances is a big-picture project. Sit down, calculate exactly how much money is going in and out, list your short-, medium-, and long-term financial goals and create a budget. However, there are times when you need to start over right away because you have so much money anxiety that you don’t want to think about it, or you struggle with procrastination for some other reason. Taking one quick, practical step can change the way you think about your finances and make it easier to move on.

Open an emergency savings account

Have you heard that you need an easy-to-settle emergency fund for unexpected expenses such as medical out-of-pocket expenses? You might have thought that this could be set when you have an amount of In fact, you can start with the bare minimum required to open a savings account at your current bank. You may be able to do this online. Even if you start with as little as $25, your funds will grow with each payment you receive, giving you a place to store a small amount of money.

save money on your debt

Paying off credit cards and other debts? Find ways to pay less and save money. If you have a credit card balance, call the company and ask if they’d like to lower your interest rate. Some companies agree if you are a loyal customer. Alternatively, you can look for cards with balance transfer offers. Some cards offer a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for short periods of time, such as 6 months. This is a great way to quickly pay your card. Also, check if you can refinance student loans with NaviRefi. Your monthly payments may be less and you can put your savings into an emergency account.

give up one thing

There’s another little gesture that can help you save money. One thing is to give up. It could be the coffee you carry with you every day, an in-app purchase, or a streaming service you rarely use. Whatever it is, pledge to put that money into savings until you reach your immediate fundraising goal.

start investing

If you haven’t signed up for your company’s retirement plan yet, do so now. But there are other ways to invest even if you don’t know much about the topic. You can open a brokerage account online. It only costs $100 to get started, so it saves you time and money. You can also allow robo-advisors to select portfolios based on the information you collect. Unless you really intend to get into the stock market, most of the time, once you put your money somewhere else, it’s best to leave it there for a while.

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