Managing your financial status is challenging enough as it is, but improving it – that is a whole other challenge to tackle. Whether you’re in need of a finance management overhaul or just need some more structure in your financial life, here are a few simple tips you can use to improve your financial health.

1. Create A Plan

The first step to start improving your financial health is to create a plan. Based on the fact that you’re here reading my post, you’re already off to a pretty good start. Now, it’s time to ask yourself what exactly you want to improve. Do you want to build a stronger savings account? Or do you want to work your way toward affording a mortgage or money for an upcoming vacation?

Once you have an idea of what you want to improve, you can start taking action to make real financial changes. Depending on your goals, your plan might start with a budget, or perhaps you might open your first credit card account to build up your credit history.

If budgeting is where your plan starts, you may want to enlist the help of a personal budgeting app so that you can monitor your progress and start to practice better saving and spending habits.

If investing is where your financial wellness begins, you can start out your journey with an easy-to-use investment application.

2. Stay On Top Of Important Deadlines

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. They’re arguably the most important part of maintaining your financial health. Missing a credit card payment or forgetting to file your taxes can result in hefty penalty fees or damage to your credit score, depending on the offense.

In order to stay penalty-free, it’s crucial to stay on top of these important dates. For credit card payments, you may want to set up automatic payments so that you never miss one. Or, use a calendar app or the reminder feature on your phone so that you remember to make any adjustments or payments you need to.

As for filing taxes, using professional tax software can help you ensure that you’re filing in compliance with IRS best practices in plenty of time by that April 15th deadline.

3. Identify Your Financial Goals

As I mentioned earlier, creating financial goals for yourself is important to boost your financial wellness. But what kind of goals do you need to set to be successful in your financial life? And more importantly, how do you keep yourself accountable?

As far as goals go, it totally depends on your financial situation. But no matter what your goals entail, there are plenty of ways you can track your progress and make your way toward a more financially sound future.

4. Build Your Financial Profile

Another way to improve your financial health is to diversify your financial profile. Opening new lines of credit and making investments are two ways you can do this. A new line of credit is one way to boost your credit score, which can help improve your financial status and make it easier for you to apply for additional types of credit as well as apartments and other things that require credit checks.

5) Don’t Set It And Forget It

Once you’ve started putting your financial plan in motion, it’s important that you continuously evaluate your financial strategy rather than just setting it and forgetting about it. You should make it a habit to check your bank accounts regularly to make sure there aren’t any mistakes and to ensure that you’re keeping your goals on track.

When your goals aren’t quite on track, this habit makes it easier for you to identify what’s going wrong and how you can adjust your strategy.

Key Takeaways: Improving Your Financial Health

Maintaining your financial health isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to keep a good credit score and meet other financial goals. To improve or maintain financial wellness, simply follow these 5 steps:

  • Create a plan
  • Stay on top of important deadlines
  • Identify your financial goals
  • Build your financial profile
  • Don’t set it and forget it

Creating a path for success early on will help you ensure success in the future. As I have written many times before, failing to plan means you’re planning to fail. Give yourself the best chance to win by establishing a plan and checking it often so you don’t steer too far off course.

This article originally appeared on Arrest Your Debt.