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Does your money sense make the grade? A+ or D-?

(NC) It’s no secret that many of us struggle to meet our financial goals. In fact, in a recent study conducted by the financial services firm Primerica, found over a quarter of middle-income Canadians reported that they only follow two or fewer financial fundamentals. Those who had met with a financial professional fared better. How do you stack up?

Here’s how you can make the grade according to Primerica’s Financial Preparedness Scorecard in the study:

Save every month, regardless the amount. No matter what the amount, make sure you save and save regularly.

As long as you are saving something, you’re setting yourself up for better financial habits, and earning some interest in your account.

Have life insurance coverage. Life insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you have a young family it’s important to be able to care for them after you’re gone. If you’re still building savings, your family may not have much to draw on if something happens later, unless you’re covered now.

Invest some money outside of traditional savings. Steady savings habits are great but investing some of your money can lead to greater returns and therefore more bang for your buck.  Any investment returns that you earn will compound over time and help you achieve your financial goals.

Make more than the minimum payment on your credit cards. This will help you avoid the snowball effect of credit card debt, which can build before you know it. If you only pay the minimum each month and still keep spending – your debt will increase exponentially.

Maintain emergency savings. Though it may take time to build, work on keeping enough money in an emergency account to cover at least three months of expenses. This gives you some cushioning in case you lose your job or become unable to work.

While we may not all be making the grade right now, these are some key steps to work towards financial preparedness.

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