The Economy Starts With You

In a piece for Huffington Post Black Voices, financial expert Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of economic programs for the NAACP, takes the focus away from the national "fiscal cliff" and puts it on individuals' own fiscal wellness.

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Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of economic programs for the NAACP, says in his latest piece for Huffington Post Black Voices that while the economy can be a runaway topic, especially during an election season, focusing on your own finances is the best route to fiscal wellness. From working to pay off high-interest debts to building a rainy-day fund, Muhammad offers time-tested tricks to ensure financial health.

Whether you voted for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, we've watched politicians and pundits spar over unemployment rates, entitlements and tax reform. And now that the American public have voiced their opinion by reelecting Obama, let us take our focus back down to a personal level and examine ways that each of us can shore up our own personal economy.

Paying off high-interest debt is a crucial step toward getting your finances in order. Because interest accrues quickly over time, putting off debt repayments means paying much more in the long run. Pay off the balances with the worst interest rates and work your way down from there. And remember, keeping yourself out of the debt trap ensures that you're always paying yourself first.

Creating emergency savings provides a crucial line of defense against the unexpected. With savings, you'll be less likely to fall behind on bills, get a lower credit score, or resort to exploitative high interest loans. And don't be put off if you have to start small. Putting aside $75 a month can give you almost $1,000 worth of annual savings.

Read Dedrick Muhammad's entire piece at Huffington Post Black Voices

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